‘Mexico City’ Policy

Submitted by Florence Sofer:

‘Mexico City’ Policy has been reinstated. I spent much of my early working
years in DC at a women’s organization battling for abortion funding for
non-governmental organizations (NGOs) thanks to this restrictive Reagan
policy. It was rewarding work.

NGOs are the backbone to many social programs in poor countries. They fill
a gap that the governments can’t or won’t. Often at great risk to the NGO
workers who go into war torn and poor rural areas to help the population.
I saw first hand the effects of denying women in 3rd world countries
access to abortions in cases of rape, incest and sheer poverty.  These are
often young girls and women who can’t feed the children they have, due to
extreme poverty, thanks to a myriad of reasons including war,
economic/social inequality and political strife. Birth control isn’t
always readily available or culturally acceptable.
These women are victims. The NGOs provide healthcare for these families
and often a safe abortion is the only way for the women to survive –
emotionally and/or physically.  And if not done by doctors through an NGO,
the women will often resort to less safe ways to abort resulting in death
or serious illness. You know the scenario.

Obama rescinded Mexico City in 2009. Today Donald Trump reinstated it.
Bottom line – if you are an NGO and provideor even mention abortion services to women in third world countries you will lose US federal funding.  Often these funds
are the only way NGOs can do their work. So by reinstating ‘Mexico City’ you
tie their hands and they have to pull back on critical healthcare
services.

I am sick to my stomach knowing what this means to poor woman globally.
Sick. I cry not only for our country but for women all around the world
who are now impacted by these conservative policies.
It’s not just our rights here in the US at risk but the rights of women
globally, particularly the disadvantaged.

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About D. Posnett MD

Emeritus Prof. of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College
This entry was posted in Health Care, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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