Wednesday, May 22, 2024

US must step up safe abortion efforts and access

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Quote from Dr Manisha Kumar, head of MSF’s task force on safe abortion care

“While we are relieved to see a halt to this dangerous policy, there is much more work to do to mitigate the damage we have witnessed. Rescinding the Global Gag Rule is just a first step. Millions of women still don’t have access to safe abortion care because of restrictive laws, cost, stigma, a lack of trained providers, or other unnecessary barriers, such as mandatory waiting periods or misleading information.

The Global Gag Rule does not reduce the number of abortions that take place. Restricting access to abortion only pushes women to resort to unsafe abortion methods.

MSF does not accept US government funding, so our programmes are not directly affected by the Global Gag Rule. However, we see the harmful impacts these types of policies have on limiting women’s access to essential health care. In 2019, MSF treated more than 25,800 women and girls with abortion-related complications, many of which resulted from unsafe attempts to end a pregnancy.

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