Narratives of Essentialism and Exceptionalism: The Challenges and Possibilities of Using Human Rights to Improve Access to Safe Abortion
Health and Human Rights, 19(1), 1 (2017)
Posted: 29 Mar 2021
Date Written: June 2, 2017
As this special section of Health and Human Rights goes to press, women’s access to sexual and reproductive health, including safe and legal abortion, faces both old and new threats in many corners of the world. Among other things, the US government under Donald Trump decided to defund the United Nations Population Fund and to reinstate and expand the so-called Global Gag Rule that prevents any non-US, nongovernmental organization from receiving funds from the United States if they provide not just abortion services but any information regarding abortion, even with other donors’ funds. USAID is the largest donor in the world for family planning services, and grantees will lose funding unless they agree to these conditions. As many as 50 European and other governments, including Canada, stepped in to try to make up at least in part for the loss in funding. Now that it has been announced that all US global health assistance funding for international health programs, such as for HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health, malaria, global health security, and family planning and reproductive health will be affected, the losses may be as much as US$9 billion.
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