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Through the @Hewlett_Found-supported project in West and Central Africa, we partner with @JVSAssociation in Bénin to create an enabling environment for youth access to #SRHR, including safe abortions.

Check out their "My Choice" twitter campaign! ⬇️

In anticipation of International Women’s Day on March 8, we’ll spend the week highlighting programs that are contributing to a more gender equal world. Stay tuned for #InternationalWomensDay Spotlights!

How we're advancing #genderequality through #SRHR: ➡️http://bit.ly/GE-SRHR

Addressing fistula is key to advancing #SRHR.

Since 2005, EngenderHealth has supported over 45,000 fistula repairs thanks to @USAID. Learn about advancements in fistula care across Africa & Asia at our event on March 8: http://bit.ly/FCPlus-Webinar

@fistulacare @USAIDGH #IWD2021

The @USAID-funded @fistulacare project takes a diverse approach to reducing barriers to fistula care. A key component of preventing fistula is expanding access to high-quality sexual and reproductive health services.

➡️Learn more: http://bit.ly/FCPlus-Webinar

#IWD2021 @USAIDGH

EngenderHealth supports capacity building & GBV awareness creation at Arbaminch Hospital, an integrated care center for GBV screening, counseling, treatment, and legal aid in Ethiopia. We were honored to host state officials to learn about successes & challenges in this model.

Yesterday, you heard about fistula from the @USAID-funded @fistulacare Plus project. To learn about how we’ve worked with partners to prevent & treat fistula over 15 years, join @fistulacare & @usaidGH for “Towards a Fistula-Free Future” on March 8!

➡️http://bit.ly/FCPlus-Webinar

Warmest congratulations to Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the new U.S. Ambassador to the @UN. We @UNFPA wish you every success and look forward to working with you to protect the health and advance the rights of women and girls around the world. @LindaT_G @USUN

http://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/23/us/politics/linda-thomas-greenfield-ambassador-united-nations.html

Also, mark your calendars for March 8, 2021! We are hosting a virtual event on #InternationalWomensDay entitled, “Towards a Fistula-Free Future: 15 Years of Breakthroughs and Program Impact.” Register today: http://bit.ly/FCPlus-Webinar

Thanks everyone! The FC+ website is a great place to start for more information and resources on fistula prevention and treatment, including research results, project reports, and stories from providers and clients. http://bit.ly/fistularesources https://twitter.com/EngenderHealth/status/1364608432880443393

Obstetric fistula is a beacon of inequality, as it occurs where women are already living with limited resources and access to healthcare. Additionally, once fistula occurs, women often face significant stigma and isolation which can impact their social and economic wellbeing. https://twitter.com/EngenderHealth/status/1364605591528886273

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The Global Gag Rule

The Expanded Global Gag Rule, officially titled Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance (PLGHA), denies foreign NGOs receiving US government assistance the right to use their own, non-US government funds to provide information, referrals or services for legal abortion or advocate to reduce legal restrictions on abortion in their countries. Under the terms of the policy, in order for an organization to remain eligible for US government funds, doctors, midwives, nurses, and civil society advocates cannot even mention the word abortion—much less provide abortion services—even for cases in which abortion is legal in their country and a woman requests it. Organizations that choose not to meet these restrictions lose all US government funding, including for essential supplies of contraceptives.

President Ronald Reagan first established the Global Gag Rule in 1984. It was later rescinded by President Bill Clinton, reestablished by President George W. Bush, and rescinded again by President Barack Obama. President Donald J. Trump reinstated and expanded the Global Gag Rule in 2017 and expanded it again in June 2019. 

Impact of the Global Gag Rule

Though the purported intent of the policy is to reduce the number of abortions, it has terrible consequences for the health and lives of poor women and their families, including increasing the number of unsafe abortions. Implementation of the Global Gag Rule has resulted in people in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East losing US government-donated contraceptives, and many organizations and clinics have been forced to reduce services, lay off staff, or shut down entirely.

EngenderHealth is a charitable organization focused on family planning, reproductive health, and maternal, newborn, and child health. Since the Global Gag Rule was first implemented in 1984, we have led US government funded programs at the country, regional, and global levels, addressing a range of US global health policy objectives, including advancing family planning, preventing HIV/AIDS, and improving maternal health.

As a US-based organization, EngenderHealth is not directly subject to the gag rule, but, because we work closely with organizations based in other countries and regions, the PLGHA restrictions have a significant impact on our operations, our compliance requirements, our partnerships, and our ability to improve health outcomes through our programs.

EngenderHealth is firmly committed to supporting women and girls in exercising their comprehensive sexual and reproductive rights, including the right to safe abortion. With support from donors other than the US government, EngenderHealth is actively engaged in expanding access to safe abortion for all who need it through a holistic approach involving work with individuals, communities, health systems, civil society, and more.

As EngenderHealth implements programs that yield life-saving and life-changing results, we have a laser-like focus on excellent stewardship of the funds generously granted to us by all our donor partners, which includes scrupulously following the laws and policies of the United States, where we are based, and of the countries where we work. We devote significant organizational resources at all levels to compliance.

Unfortunately, the US policy framework around abortion care, including PLGHA, reduces everyone’s ability to truly meet the health needs of women in those communities, and increases the instances of unsafe abortions and the associated negative health outcomes. These policies even restrict programs supported by funds from sources other than the US government, such as private foundations or other national governments, when we work in partnership with non-US organizations, simply because those partner organizations happen to receive US government funding for other work they do.

For more detail on the impacts, see our more detailed brief on the Global Gag Rule.

 

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