Cause More Abortions, Not Fewer

After large numbers of abortions women around the world joined Woman’s Marches on March 8. The US President Donald Trump reinstated global gag rules, which cut off US funding for international NGOs. That provide advocacy or services in abortion.

The Dutch government announced plans to compensate non-governmental organizations for funding gaps of US$600 millions over the next four years. Many countries, both within and without the EU, have supported this plan as well as private foundations and companies.

It remains to determine if this ambitious goal will met. And if any other needs will not met by any redirect funds.

Lilianne Ploumen, the Dutch Minister for International Development Cooperation, announced the initiative. She stated, I’m pro-choice and pro-womens rights. It is important to hold your ground.

While it is important to recognize that efforts to replace. The funding lost under the global gag rule are welcome, this is not a prolife debate. This is a global health problem that has serious consequences for the most. Vulnerable populations, including millions of children and women in developing countries.

Service Disruption Abortions

The global gag rule, also known as the Mexico City Policy. Requires that all international NGOs refrain from performing, advising or endorsing abortions as a method for family planning. Some NGOs work in situations where abortion is safe or unsafe.

Many international NGOs work hard to improve access to contraception, both short-term as well as long-term. This transition is costly and takes time.

Many women’s only source for reproductive health care is often the NGOs that are forced to close or reduce their services due to the policy. They could be the only source of primary care for her family, including pre- and post-natal care, STI prevention, treatment and counselling.

The policy threatens services that train health professionals in countries with a shortage of qualified personnel, such as midwives or traditional birth attendants.

The average number of health professionals in developed countries is 33 per 10,000 people. In contrast, most developing countries only have one health professional for every 10,000 people. Research shows that unattended babies have higher rates of newborn and maternal deaths.

Unintended Consequences Abortions

In August 1984, Ronald Reagan, the former US president, first established this rule. It has been repeal by Democratic presidents, and reinstituted by Republican presidents.

We now have plenty of evidence to support the unintended consequences for our health, unlike Reagan’s policy. According to a 2011 study, women are 2.73 times more likely under the rule to have an abortion. The policy, while intended to decrease abortion rates, actually increases them.

Reduced access to family planning services can lead to unplanned pregnancies, unsafe abortions, and maternal death.

In 2016, the Guttmacher Institute, a sexual and reproductive health research organization, calculated this. The Guttmacher Institute, a sexual and reproductive health research organisation, quantified this in 2016. It found that 27 million couples and women prevent from accessing family planning supplies and services if US$607.5million taken from family planning. This results in six million additional unplanned pregnancies, 2.3 million more abortions and two million more unsafe abortions.

In a country where 12 women die from childbirth and pregnancy each 100,000 live births, this may not be significant. It will have a significant impact on women living in developing countries where the maternal mortality rate for these women is 239 per 100,000 live births and where 99% percent of global maternal deaths occur.

The Millennium Development Goals were adopt by 189 countries, including the United States, in 2000. These included the commitment to improve maternal health through reducing maternal mortality, and to providing access to reproductive healthcare services by 2015. This was the Millennium Development Goal that failed to meet half of its goals.

You Are Falling Short

The US is 19th in the world as an international aid recipient in percentage of gross national income. However, USAID is the largest humanitarian donation in dollars. In 2015, it allocated more than $USD6.42 million to humanitarian aid.

The global gag rule is a serious threat to the UN Sustainable Development Goal, which aims to reduce maternal mortality by less than 70% per 100,000 live births by 2030. It also threatens the UN Sustainable Development Goal of ensuring that all women have access to reproductive and sexual health-care services.

This rule is intended to address family planning. It is basically about spacing out childbirth. Child spacing has many health and economic benefits. They include lower rates of pregnancy-related deaths and higher child survival rates. There are also lower rates of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, empowerment of women and enhanced education, as well as a decrease in adolescent pregnancies.

These benefits result in more benefits, such as a slowed growth of the population, conservation of natural resources, mitigation of climate change, and economic growth. This reduces conflicts and migration.

The Wrong Abortions Debate

Impoverished women in areas without access to contraception or health care are often forced to have more children. This has negative consequences for the whole family. It increases the demands on limited resources, decreases education options, lowers income, and reinforces poverty.

These regions, which are expected to see the greatest population growth over the next decade (South Asia and Africa), are also the most poor. They have the poorest health-care system and depend on foreign aid for essential services.

The only way to ensure economic growth and poverty elimination is through the demographic transition that high-income countries have experienced. This starts with a decrease in the family size. Anybody who has worked in the field of reproductive health in developing nations will tell you this is what poor women with large families want.

Let’s be clear: this isn’t a country with high income and a religiously-charged pro-life debate. Global gag rules increase abortion demand, and have consequences for a variety of health issues like HIV/AIDS and cervical cancer.

This short sighted, misinformed policy is just as unsupported by scientific evidence as denigrating climate change. We, as a global community have a responsibility to ensure that everyone has access to family planning, especially the most vulnerable.


US Stops Fund Reproductive Health Services

Donald Trump, the US President, decided not to fund the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), in 2018. This decision was made due to the UNFPA’s support for forced sterilisation and coercive abortions in China.

The US is the largest contributor to the agency. It mandates access and voluntary family planning as well as high-quality sexual health services. It allows individuals to make informed and voluntary decisions about their sexual and/or reproductive lives.

US funding of US$610 million, including US$35 million UNFPA for family planning. Programs and reproductive healthcare helped to prevent 2.4 million unnecessary abortions in 2015. This was in addition to preventing six million unintended pregnancies.

The total amount was US$608 millions in 2016, which also includes UNFPA funding. US Agency for International Development (US AID), has requested US$544 Million for family planning and reproductive healthcare for 2017. The UNFPA funds will be redirected.

Fund Hurting The Poor

Trump’s exclusion of funding has led to major disruptions in key areas such as gender-based violence. Contraceptive research, development and biomedical research, contraceptive supplies, distribution and family planning programs that link HIV/AIDS with sexually transmitted disease (STD) information, post-abortion health education, and training of health workers.

These programs are essential to ensure that thousands of infants do not suffer from health problems. Due to high-risk pregnancy rates, particularly for those born to adolescents. Couples will be unable to access modern contraceptives which could lead to unwanted pregnancies.

Unlawful, unsafe abortions could be the result of a large number of unwanted pregnancies. Equally concerning is the impact of a dearth of education and access to contraceptives on efforts towards containing HIV/AIDS.

The Zika babies’ lack of information about safe termination of pregnancies and the services. That can be provided to help them is a potential threat to the future of national and family health budgets.

Women in poorer countries will not have the opportunity to access family planning education and services. This will make it difficult for them to create some kind of health security within social networks. That do not meet their sexual and reproductive health needs. Women have turned to illegal and unsafe abortions in order to save their lives and avoid certain death.

Southeast Asia’s Women’s Health

The UNFPA and US AID are responsible for ensuring the reproductive and sexual health and well-being of Southeast Asian women and girls. They also manage policies and programs in relation to population, including those in Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and Indonesia.

As they face multiple health issues, the budgets for health in many Southeast Asian countries can be extremely tight. As they may not be prioritized areas, the withdrawal of funding could result in women’s reproductive health and sexual health budgets being cut.

If women have Zika babies, the removal of their right to terminate pregnancies will severely impact family incomes in future. It can also lead to high future health costs in these countries.

A further problem is that abortion rates are not expected to decrease. We will instead see an increase in unsafe abortions, which are one of the leading causes for maternal mortality in the region. We are at risk of compromising the economic security and, by extension, those of these poorer countries.

Both pregnant and raped adolescent girl drop out of school, and can later only get low-skill jobs. Their earning potential is much lower than that of a young woman with at least ten years of literacy and numeracy.

Human Rights And Development Goals

This is a human right issue that can have a significant impact on global health security as well as women’s health. This deficiency must be address by the global community.

Alternatives include a global crisis and instability that could affect peace and stability, especially when it comes to achieving sustainable development goals the shared goals of humanity. These 17 goals require women to be equally and effectively involved.

Gender Equality Goal 5 could be nearly impossible to attain due to the cuts. For example, Target 5.6 outlines the goals to achieve sexual and reproductive health, and rights.

In this context, we need to find like-minded countries that will address the US$32.5 Million UNFPA shortfall in the next budget year.

Donald Trump signed an executive decree reinstituting the global gaunt rule on January 23. This bans NGOs offering information or services regarding abortion. This prompted Norway and the Netherlands, which were both affect by the crisis, to offer financial assistance to help make up the difference so that women in need can continue to have access to safe abortions and birth control.

Considering Recent Fund Cuts

The crisis is too severe and resources are too limit to fill the gap quickly, especially considering recent cuts to UNFPA funds. This could be an opportunity for China, particularly in areas where it has historical and current ties to the problem.

China is trying to be a responsible global citizen, despite continuing human rights violations both at home and abroad. China’s commitment to the Paris Agreement, its recent emphasis on renewable energy, its plans to create a national park that is 60% larger than Yellow Stone National Park in order to protect Siberian Tigers and Amur leopards, and its plan for ending all ivory trade by 2017.

The rising superpower may be able to help create equal access to health and well-being for some of the poorer areas in the world, such as Africa, where it has vested interest, and Southeast Asia where it has historical and economic ties.

China seems to be weaving a narrative that portrays a soft power rather than the US’s hard line. It is gaining international respect and kudos, whether it was intentional or not. It would be a great fund way to gain more respect from the international community by adding the global security of health and safety to its excellent international citizen hat.


Long Journey Towards Reproductive Health

Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippine President, signed an executive journey order on January 9, 2017. Calling for universal access and modern family planning methods. It also demand that the Reproductive Health Law be implement quickly.

The RH law, popularly known, was pass in 2012. However, it was suspend by the Supreme Court after objections. From religious groups who claimed that the law violated freedom of religion.

Even his most ardent critics were happy to accept Duterte’s order. Human Rights Watch called it a bright. Spot in the administration’s otherwise terrible human rights record due to its abusive war against drugs. Apart from encouraging family planning, the RH law includes wide-ranging provisions. Regarding emergency obstetrical care, sex education and maternal and child healthcare.

The fact that these seemingly innocuous health matters have to be confirm. Attests to how contested the Philippines reproductive health issues are. Luis Cardinal Tagle of Manila, Manila’s archbishop reiterated the Church’s opposition to any law. That encourages both natural and artificial family planning methods, just one day after Duterte signed his executive order.

Both Morally And Politically Contentious Journey

The ongoing debate can seen as a continuation of the long journey of the Philippines towards reproductive health. It has made into a political issue and moral issue by many actors. It also bound to the Church’s long-standing involvement in politics in a country. Where at least 80% of the population are Catholic.

The Catholic Church is oppose to artificial contraception and population control. This opposition extends beyond the Philippine borders. The Church’s opposition to population control and artificial contraception made dogma by Pope Paul VI in Humanae Vitae (1968). It has been confirm by subsequent popes.

Initially, it didn’t appear that the Church’s position had much impact on Philippine policies. Ferndinand Marcos, the then-president of the Philippines, established a Population Commission to try. And control population growth just one year after Humanae Vitae.

In 1973, Marcos supported a new constitution that required the government to achieve and maintain the highest levels of population most conducive for the national welfare.

Situation Journey Changed

The situation changed in 1980s when people rebelled against Marcos corrupted and authoritarian government. This, however, should be note, was ultimately ineffective in its population control efforts. The 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution, which deposed Marcos and forced him into exile, was led by the Church.

Cory Aquino was much more accommodating to the Church’s wishes as the new president. The life of the mother and the life for the unborn child from conception were the core principles of the 1987 Cory Constitution. It also omitted any reference whatsoever to population control.

The Church would be rule by a succession of presidents. Gloria Arroyo, another beneficiary of the Church-backed revolution, would be the most vocal. It would become state policy to only promote natural family planning methods. This was despite the scientific consensus that such methods are not effective and the fact that most Filipinos support artificial contraception.

The Church’s acceptance of an RH law was not a factor in the steady growth of support. The first of many RH bills filed in Congress was in 1999. Ironically, the law was pass by Cory’s son Benigno Aquino III, Arroyo’s successor.

Duterte was the 2016 successor to Aquino and was vocal in support of reproductive health. He stressed the importance of the RH law in his first national address. So that couples, especially those who are poor, can make informed decisions about the number and spacing for their children, he said.

Increasing HIV Prevalence And A Growing Population

Despite the politics of the RH Law, the Philippines rationale for it is quite clear. The rate of population growth is still very high. It is predicted that the Philippines will have 105 million Filipinos by 2017, a remarkable tripling of 31.7 million in just 50 years.

Economists agree that poverty is complex. However, rapid population growth and high fertility rates, particularly among the poor, exacerbate poverty. In 2012, thirty economists from the University of the Philippines confirmed the RH bill’s role in population growth, and thus in poverty reduction.

The alarming rise in HIV infection rates makes the Philippines the only country with a growing HIV prevalence. Condom distribution and promotion are based on HIV prevention. Anti-RH advocates argue that this would encourage immorality poker pelangi.

Moving Forward Journey

Some observers note that the Church’s influence in Philippine politics is decreasing, citing the failure of the RH law to be stopped. Despite its diminished power, the Church remains an important political actor.

The Department of Education, responding to Church pressure, announced it would not allow condom distribution in schools in the same month as Duterte’s executive order. In an effort to placate the Church, the RH Law also includes natural methods as well as responsible parenting in its language and mentions religious convictions seven times.

Does the Church have any chance of changing its position? Pope Francis recent declaration that contraception is a lesser sin than abortion, at least in Zika cases, has given some hope. His statement was viewed as a change of tone, but not in substance, and it is rightfully so.

It is highly unlikely that the Church will reconsider its position judging by the latest rhetoric from the Philippine bishops, which labels contraceptive use immoral.

However, it is encouraging to see two presidents, who are from opposing political parties, support reproductive health. This raises the possibility that it will become a post-political and post-ecclesiastical problem.

It’s been a long road, but there is reason to believe that the RH law will be fully implemented in the Philippines. This will bring with it the desperately needed HIV control programs and population growth.