The Trump Administration has announced a new interpretation of the Global Gag Rule on abortion – officially called the Mexico City Policy – risking the lives of millions of women and forcing a frightening regression of women’s reproductive rights around the world.
Studies of the previous enactment of the Global Gag Rule found that abortion rates increased in some areas as a withdrawal of US funding forced the closure of clinics offering family planning and contraceptive services. Trump’s extended policy will have an even greater impact on the lives of women and their families.
As a result of the reinstated US policy, Marie Stopes International is facing a AU$100m funding gap globally through to 2020, resulting in an estimated 600,000 life-threatening unsafe abortions and almost 1.8 million unintended pregnancies globally.
Unsafe abortions account for up to 13% of maternal deaths globally. When women can’t access information or counselling about abortion, they are forced to turn to traditional medicine or unsafe providers, or attempt it themselves. This can lead to long term injury or death.