Monday, February 20, 2017

Reinstated Mexico City Policy: What does it mean?

Two days after the Women’s March, Trump signed an executive order that reinstated a policy that bans federal funds going to international groups that provide or discuss abortion as an option for family planning.  (Of note, federal funds have never been used to directly provide abortions in other countries.)  This restriction of funds is devastating to groups like Marie Stropes International and Planned Parenthood International who provide women in developing counties access to family planning services, such as contraception. 

This policy has gained and loss support over the past two decades.  President Ronald Reagan first instituted the ban in 1984 at the United Nations conference in Mexico City (hence the name). Clinton than rescinded the ban during his presidency.  President George W Bush reinstated the ban and President Obama overturned it once again.  Interestingly, a study done at Stanford University in 2011 showed during the Bush administration that contraceptive use in Africa was reduced and abortion rates were increased, underscoring the importance of family planning services. 

But what does this policy really mean for the women living in these developing countries? Marie Strope International estimates that with this policy there will be 6.5 million unintentional pregnancies, 2.2 million abortions and 21, 700 women dying in pregnancy or childbirth.  After the executive order was signed, Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood tweeted  The world’s most vulnerable women will suffer as a direct result of this policy, which undermines years of effort to improve women’s health.”

So although Trump thinks that he is re-introducing a policy that is “pro-life”, this policy increases rates of abortion and directly causes women’s deaths. 

Thank You.

To all the women of the Women’s March, thank you. 

Thank you for representing unity.  This march brought together all genders, races and religions.  It highlighted that although different, many people stand for equality and are willing to fight for it.  Almost half a million in DC alone came together for women. 

Thank you for representing strength. Young women and girls around the world saw people come together for them - showing them they have value and are important. 

Thank you for representing justice.  As many signs read: “Women’s Rights are Human Rights”.  Reminding the country that it is worth fighting for reproductive rights, equal pay and education of women around the world. 

And thank you to the men that marched.  Your support was seen and spoke volumes.  Your presence showed the respect you hold for the women in your life.

Nora Sherry 
DUCOM 2017

1 comment:

  1. I hope this new policy will help to bring back the rights of women and will give them equal rights to that of men. In developing countries, the condition of women's rights is not good.