US anti-choice politics have a global impact

The grim prospect of a second Trump presidency looms as the USA approaches its next presidential election.  


Two years have passed since Roe v Wade was overturned, stripping hard-won abortion rights from women across the US. Devastatingly, abortion is now banned in 14 US states. 

Anti-choice in the mainstream

In the US, anti-rights groups have seized the opportunity to push their anti-choice agenda more forcefully.  


From attempting to prevent the use of vital abortion medication, to the removal of life-saving care for women in emergency situations, the anti-rights movement continues to be deadly.  


Although the current US government repealed the Global Gag Rule, US abortion politics still affect the world.


Two years after the Supreme Court decision, women and girls globally are suffering due to a strong anti-rights movement. 

Anti-rights tactics making waves through Africa

Ethiopia has one of the most liberal abortion laws in Africa, which means it’s also one of the countries with the most to lose. Since the overturning of Roe v Wade, the protections for abortion are now hanging in the balance.   


Family Watch International, 

an anti-rights lobbying group , is increasingly vocal. Concerningly, the US Supreme Court decision has provided inspiration for its ideas.  

Its director in Africa, Dr Seyoum Antonios, is calling on the Ethiopian government publicly to follow the US by restricting the country’s abortion laws.  


These actions are not unique to Ethiopia. 


In Kenya, anti-abortion groups cited the overturning of Roe v Wade as a reason to appeal a 2022 constitutional court decision expanding abortion access.  


In Lagos state, Nigeria, the policy guidelines on abortion care for life-threatening health conditions were suspended less than a month after Roe v Wade was overturned. 


Whilst legal change can take years to achieve, these lobby groups also have the power to increase stigma within days.  


At MSI, we have seen this firsthand. 


In Ethiopia, our team members regularly see public messages displayed outside MSI clinics, calling for an end to abortion. 40 Days for Life, a US-based anti-rights group, has publicly listed our clinics in the Democratic Republic of Congo as targets for their harassment of women. 


In Kenya, we often encounter ‘mystery clients’ who attempt to deceive our providers into offering care against the country’s guidelines so that they can trigger criminal investigations.   


Once these groups have perpetuated stigma, shame and fear, it’s difficult to undo.  


How we fight the anti-choice movement

Our unapologetic pro-choice stance informs everything we do. While we always work within the law, we maintain our belief in every person’s right to make choices about their own body. 

In some countries, this means offering abortions where no other healthcare provider will. In places where abortion is highly restricted, we offer life-saving post-abortion care for women and girls who’ve resorted to risky abortions.

Everywhere we work, we make contraception more readily available so that women and girls have choice about if and when to become pregnant.  


Through community education, partnerships with governments and community leaders, and stigma reduction initiatives, we work to create environments where fear, shame and misinformation can’t thrive.  


This work is vital, urgent and challenging. We couldn’t do it without the support of generous individuals.  

To join us in the fight against the spread of anti-choice politics and the fight for reproductive choice for all, please donate today.