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Trump’s decision on Global Gag Rule a blow to women in India

More than 5 million women in India this year will have an unsafe abortion because they lack access to safe, high-quality abortion care. These are women who want to avoid pregnancy but lack knowledge, agency and access to modern contraception and/or abortion. Death from unsafe abortions continue to be the third largest reason for maternal deaths in the country. Additionally many young girls and women risk serious injury undergoing a backstreet abortion process, a statement issued by Ipas Development Fund said.

President Donald Trump’s decision to reinstate the Global Gag rule, a harmful anti-choice and anti-reproductive  rights policy has huge implications on women’s health worldwide, including in India. The policy forces organizations to choose between receiving U.S. foreign assistance funds and providing comprehensive—often lifesaving—care. The policy restricts organizations that receive U.S. family planning funds from using private funds to inform or educate their government on safe abortion or to provide legal abortion services, the statement said.

Lack of access to contraception and safe abortion is a major public health crisis for women in the world’s poorest countries. But rather than addressing this crisis, the Global Gag Rule broadens restrictions already imposed by the Helms Amendment, which prohibits the use of U.S. funds for abortion-related work overseas. I believe this political move will endanger the lives and health of the poorest and most vulnerable women in our country by denying access and putting them at risk of unsafe abortion, says Vinoj Manning, Executive Director, Ipas Development Foundation (IDF), an NGO that works across the country with the objective of ensuring access to comprehensive abortion care for women in India.   

This decision shall result in immediate withdrawal of millions of doll ars aid committed for contraceptive access as well as comprehensive abortion care globally and it will have an impact on India too. While there is a global movement to invest in women’s rights and autonomy and their health, to prevent this move from being a real setback, this is the time for other bilateral agencies, private foundations and corporates to step-up and bridge the gap.

“”I believe that Mr Trump’s decision is another unfortunate instance of bad politics and personal prejudice trumping women’s reproductive rights.”” he said.”

By TIS Staffer
the authorBy TIS Staffer

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