In Global Health, Abortion Bears the Scarlet A

Abortion poses a moral dilemma – ending the life of a child, but sometimes saving lives of individual women. Illegal, unsafe abortions have been cited as a leading cause of maternal death globally and a driver of gender inequality. “U.S. foreign policy exacerbates this global public health crisis, perpetuating a culture of stigma, silence and inaction around a leading killer of women,” argues lawyer Jill Filipovic for Al Jazeera, even though “The World Health Organization identifies safe abortion care as one of seven necessary interventions to ensure quality reproductive, maternal and child health care.” A 40-year-old law known as the Helms Amendment prevents US funds from paying for or helping abortions overseas as a family-planning method. The Mexico City Policy also known as the Global Gag Rule, applied on and off since the 1980s and now off, pulls US funds from any group providing abortion with non-US dollars or providing information on the topic at all. USAID officials avoid meetings where abortion is discussed, and US major corporations and foundations decline to fund abortion, thus preventing vulnerable women from learning about health options that are legal in their own country. Illegal abortions continue. – YaleGlobal

In Global Health, Abortion Bears the Scarlet A

Safe abortions have the potential to transform women’s health abroad, but the US and its major corporations and foundations still balk
Jill Filipovic
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Jill Filipovic is a lawyer and writer. She blogs at Feministe and is a weekly columnist at The Guardian. She was the recipient of a 2013 United Nations Foundation reporting fellowship in Malawi.  The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera America’s editorial policy.
© 2014 Al Jazeera America, LLC. All rights reserved.

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