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Marie Stopes International Australia

One Year of the Mexico City Policy

One year on from President Trump’s re-imposition of the Mexico City Policy, also called the Global Gag Rule[i], the loss of aid assistance from the U.S. government has left Marie Stopes International with a funding gap of nearly AU$100m. This could have a devastating impact on millions of the world’s most vulnerable women and girls for years to come.

Unless Marie Stopes International can close this funding gap, it estimates that more than two million women will no longer have access to contraception services from a trained Marie Stopes International provider, leading to an extra:

-           2.5 million unintended pregnancies

-           870,000 unsafe abortions

-           6,900 avoidable maternal deaths

-           AU$185m increase in direct healthcare costs[ii]

When the Global Gag Rule was re-enacted in January 2017, USAID funding equated to 17% of Marie Stopes International’s donor grant income. The loss of funding has had the greatest impact in the organisation’s work with the most marginalised communities who often have no other way of accessing contraception.

Thanks to the generous support of other donor governments and foundations, Marie Stopes International has been able to secure replacement funding to keep most services running in the short term. However from the middle of 2018, many of its programmes are facing a cliff edge, with a funding gap of nearly AU$100m in the remaining years of the current Trump administration.

The countries most directly affected so far by the withdrawal of US government family planning funding to Marie Stopes International include:

-           Madagascar: Where our voucher programme, delivering sexual and reproductive health services to women and adolescents living in poverty has already been forced to close and a further 22 outreach teams and 150 public sector franchises are at risk.

-           Uganda: Where five of our 35 outreach teams have already closed and another 12, covering nearly half the country’s most hard-to-reach populations, are at risk.  Currently these teams visit all of the country’s 117 districts, but if no new funding is found by June 2018 this will be slashed to just 47 districts (40%).

-           Zimbabwe: Where we have already had to halve the number of outreach sites we visit from 1,200 to 600, and six outreach teams serving remote, marginalised communities are at risk, leaving some women with no access to vital services.

In Cambodia, the Global Gag Rule has contributed to a 50% funding loss of for the MSI program.

 

Please help to provide the most vulnerable women and girls their chance to access contraception. 



[i] The Global Gag Rule, re-enacted on ‘Day One’ of President Trump’s term of office, demands that all non-US international organisations in receipt of U.S. Government funding neither perform nor ‘actively promote’ abortion. This effectively means NGOs forfeit all US aid if they so much as tell a woman abortion is a legal option in her country, refer her to another provider or advocate for abortion rights with their own alternative resources. 
[ii] Figures calculated using Marie Stopes International’s peer-reviewed Impact 2 Model: https://mariestopes.org/media/2193/impact-2-introductory-guide.pdf

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MELBOURNE VIC, 3001

1300 478 486
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