A group of men hearing from a team member from Marie Stopes Papua New Guinea.

Latest interpretation of Trump’s Global Gag Rule puts women’s lives at risk

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.

Since this rule was first instated in 2017, abortion rates have increased in some areas as a withdrawal of US funding forced the closure of clinics offering family planning and contraceptive services.

As a result of the reinstated US policy, MSI 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 at least 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.

MSI Cambodia supports women like Sey Teav to access long term contraception to exercise her reproductive rights.

MSI Asia Pacific’s Chris Turner spoke to SBS this morning about the consequences of the Global Gag Rule on women and families in vulnerable communities around the world.