Nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) in Malawi that provide and promote abortion after receiving funds from the United States will have to anticipate for aid cut as the Donald Trump administration signed a decree to do so.
Weeks ago, the US leader reinstated a global gag rule that bans U.S.-funded groups around the world from discussing abortion.
The order known as the Mexico City policy, established by Republican President Ronald Reagan in 1984, blocks federal funding for international family planning charities that provide abortions or actively promote the procedure.
Trump weeks ago reinstated the Mexico City Policy (MCP) and a vote by the U.S. House of Representatives to enshrine the Hyde Amendment into law under HR7, to the March for Life on Friday, the abortion issue dominated the new President’s first week in office.
Internet searches say the MCP and the Hyde Amendment seek to ensure that American taxpayers’ money is not used to fund the abortion industry either in the U.S. or internationally.
The MCP prohibits U.S. foreign aid money from going to international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that perform or promote abortions, as a method of family planning.
HR7 is a bill that would make permanent the prohibition under the Hyde Amendment on the use of federal money in securing abortions in the United States. Renewed every year since its inception in 1976, this ban has effectively been in force for 40 years.
According to sciencedirect.com, a 2008 study estimated that approximately 67300 induced abortions occur annually in Malawi, with an induced abortion rate of 23 per 1000 women of reproductive age.
Approximately 29500 women receive care for induced and spontaneous abortions in health facilities each year.
A strategic assessment of unsafe abortion in Malawi found that the most important factors contributing to unintended pregnancy and induced abortion included inaccessibility of safe abortion services particularly for poor and young women, and lack of adequate family planning, youth-friendly, and post-abortion care services.
Malawi is currently spending about $500,000 (K362.5 million) a year on providing post-abortion care.
Recently, there have been numerous concerns from religious groupings who have stood against the legalization of abortion.
Some NGOs have however stood their ground backing the laws.
For example, reproductive health service provider, Banja La Mtsogolo (BLM), argued that many women are dying due to unsafe abortion.There are several other NGO rallying behind the same.
But the Trump directive is a blow to Malawian women, a news article on Telstra.com, argues.
It states that: “This will heavily impact women in Malawi’’.
Trump’s ban will impact foreign organizations such as the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPFF), which provides family planning services in more than 180 countries.
While organizations can choose to comply with the policy and keep U.S. funding, IPPF chose to give up its federal funding when President George W. Bush reinstated the policy.
IPFF already stated that it will not comply with the order under Trump.
IPFF estimated that the organization would lose $100 million from the U.S. for not complying with the order, adding that it would hurt millions of women who rely on it for sexual and reproductive health services.