Across the globe, women and girls are facing the effects of the Trump Administration’s Global Gag Rule. The policy cuts US Government funding for organizations like Marie Stopes International (MSI) that provide or even discuss abortion care. MSI expects the Gag Rule to result in 2.1 million unintended pregnancies worldwide from the loss of our services alone.
A captivating piece by the Washington Post highlights the effects of this policy on MSI and the women we serve. On our decision to not sign the policy, MSI-US President Marjorie Newman-Williams explains:
“It was painful, but at the end of the day, it was a no-brainer not to sign. The right to safe abortion is core to our mission. To sign it would’ve been walking away from who we are.”
Women are particularly affected in Madagascar, such as Nana who walked eight miles to become the first woman to have access to long-term contraception in her village.
A Marie Stopes Madagascar voucher program, which provided 170,000 free contraceptive services, was cut and 21 outreach teams are at risk due to the Gag Rule. Without these outreach teams, women like Nana will be unable to access the contraception provided by team members such as Jean Rangomana, who fears the consequences of these services being eliminated:
“I tell them, ‘This is simple. It is about having a better life. I also tell them, ‘You can always change your mind. We’ll come back and take it out.’ I hope that I have not lied to them.”