US gag rule ties SA’s hands

US gag rule ties SA’s hands

Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng writes: "South Africa institutionalised liberal abortion laws more than two decades ago, but on January 23 2017, United States President Donald Trump essentially took away my right to write even a word about abortion."

"As a doctor in South Africa, I have provided abortion services for more than a decade. As part of my work, I often edit educational material for a nongovernmental organisation that works to prevent HIV. For young South African women, these texts offer lifesaving information about issues related to sexual and reproductive health."

"But two days after the US presidential election in November 2016 — and more than two months before Trump’s inauguration — the NGO I was working for halted distribution of a reproductive health guide because it contained information on South Africa’s constitutionally guaranteed right to abortion. The guide has since been reprinted, with all references to abortion deleted."

"The cause of this self-censorship is a US policy known as the “global gag rule”. First introduced in the 1980s and revived by every Republican administration since, the policy blocks US foreign aid to organisations that offer abortion services, counselling, referrals or advocacy. When the Trump administration formally reinstated the rule, it expanded the list of international aid programmes that made funding conditional on meeting anti-abortion criteria."



US gag rule ties SA’s hands
Put a stop to the policy that blocks aid to organisations offering abortion services

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