Marie Stopes Kenya: Mexico City Policy will prevent us reaching 75,000 women with contraception.
The United States President on his first day in office signed the Mexico City Policy, which will deny women in Kenya access to contraception and comprehensive reproductive health services provided by Marie Stopes with US government funding. The policy, also known as the “Global Gag Rule,” demands that all non-US international organizations in receipt of US Government funding neither perform nor ‘actively promote’ abortion. This effectively means NGOs forfeit all US government aid if they so much as tell a woman abortion is a legal option in her country.
In Kenya, abortion is legal if a woman’s health is in danger. Marie Stopes International knows that safe abortion is a vital component of women’s reproductive healthcare, and therefore we cannot agree to the Global Gag Rule conditions. As a result, our organization in Kenya will be prohibited from receiving any funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) so long as the Executive Order is in place.
Marie Stopes Kenya provides contraception and comprehensive reproductive health services to thousands of women across Kenya. An estimated 1,200 women and girls die from unsafe abortions every year in Kenya and an estimated 18% of girls aged 15-19 years have had an unwanted pregnancy. As a result of not receiving US government funding, Marie Stopes will be unable to provide more than 75,000 women and girls with contraception that would prevent an unwanted pregnancy. “Tragically, the implementation of the gag rule will result in more Kenyan women having unwanted pregnancies, and therefore more unsafe abortions will be conducted, resulting in even more women dying,” says Marie Stopes Kenya Country Director Dana Tilson.
Ms. Tilson says that Marie Stopes Kenya will continue to serve Kenyan women with comprehensive reproductive health services with other donor funding. “The British government, the Dutch government and many other European governments and private foundations are still supportive of women’s right to access comprehensive reproductive health services. We are grateful for the support from these donors,” says Ms. Tilson.
For more information on where to access Marie Stopes Kenya services, please contact us on our hotline number (0800 720005), WhatsApp (0709 819000) or Facebook (Marie Stopes Kenya).