Canada's Allies for Reproductive Rights

Feb 6, 2017

As Canadian advocates for women’s health, we feel compelled to act in solidarity with our American and global colleagues and to speak out against the recent reinstatement of the Mexico City Policy by President Donald J. Trump.

Also known as the Global Gag Rule , this policy prohibits non-governmental organizations that provide abortion counselling or referrals from receiving US foreign aid. Many of these organizations provide comprehensive reproductive and sexual health services, including access to family planning services, HIV care and maternal health programs. Research has shown that policies prohibiting abortion and family planning counselling lead to more unwanted pregnancies, higher rates of sexually transmitted infections, and more illness and death from unsafe abortions. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that each year five million women suffer disability and a further 47 000 lose their lives to complications of unsafe abortions. As the largest donor in global health funding, the US stands to retract nearly $10 billion (US) from reproductive health programs. The family planning organization Marie Stopes International has estimated that if funding cannot be replaced, Trump’s Gag Rule will result in 6.5 million unintentional pregnancies, 2.2 million unsafe abortions and 21, 700 pregnancy related deaths during the Trump administration.

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