An International Update


Now that we know how the U.S. is advancing, we have to ask: what is the status of accessible reproductive and sexual healthcare throughout the rest of the world? In this episode, we set the scene. Jonathan Rucks from PAI discusses how women and girls in developing countries may achieve access to family planning initiatives while he also helps us tackle the international side of reproductive health.

The Obama administration fully supported family planning funding and maintained the U.S.’ role as the largest bilateral donor.  Reinforcing the right of women and girls’ access to a full range of contraception services while simultaneously combating preexisting stigma both in private homes and communities was the ultimate goal abroad.

But, immediately after Trump’s inauguration, the administration announced a vastly expanded Global Gag Rule (originally born under the Reagan administration in 1984), which prevents foreign NGO’s receiving any U.S. global health assistance if they are providing, counseling, or referring abortion as a healthcare option. The results are catastrophic: clinics will close, women and girls will have limited access to reproductive health services, and the levels of both abortions and unintended pregnancies will rise. The administration has also pulled funding from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the largest multilateral donor for sexual and reproductive health services abroad.

Both the House and Senate have introduced bills that combat the expanded global gag (H.R. 671 and S.210).

Links in this episode

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Information on H.R. 671:
Information on S.210: https://www.congress. gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/210

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