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Lethal Consequences of Global Gag Rule in Kenya

The Global Gag Rule prohibits family planning programs receiving US federal funds from speaking about or counseling on abortion. A cover article in the latest issue of Ms. Magazine delves into the dangerous reproductive health consequences of the Global Gag Rule for women in developing countries. Ms. authors go to the notorious Ward 1D of Nairobi”s Kenyatta National Hospital to see the dire situation of women for themselves.

In Kenya, five significant family-planning clinics have closed due to loss of funds”which increases the potential for both unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions. Public hospitals in Kenya, including Kenyatta National, treat about 20,000 women each year for abortion-related complications. As much as 40 percent of all maternal deaths in Kenya result from those complications.

Ms. also highlights the family-planning roadblocks thrown up by the Bush administration in the US, including egregiously inappropriate appointments to critical government positions, denigration of condoms and blatant disregard of scientific evidence. According to a Ms. press release (PDF), the author concludes that it”s time to align the international and domestic reproductive-rights fields, as they have been working for too many years in”separate silos.”

The latest issue of Ms. hits newsstands later this month. Click here to subscribe.

Sources:

Ms. Press Release 1/17/08; Feminist Majority Foundation