While Americans debate contraception coverage, women elsewhere in the world are dying in childbirth (pregnancy is the biggest killer of teenage girls worldwide), despairing because they can’t feed their children, or living with debilitating wounds incurred because of inadequate labor and postpartum care.
Here we are in the midst of December—surrounded by Santa, elves and frenzied children. Due to the intense focus on children at this time of year, the season is often a very painful one for people who are experiencing infertility or who have suffered a miscarriage.
In 1984 Ronald Reagan declared that no U.S. foreign aid money would be sent to organizations that perform abortions, provide counseling and referral for abortions, or lobby to make abortions legal or more available. This policy, often referred to as the gag rule, was rescinded by Bill Clinton, reinstated under George W. Bush, then canceled again by Barack Obama. As it’s swung back and forth for the last 25 years, this pendulum of policy on international family planning and women’s health has resulted in unnecessary tragedy. Many health clinics have closed, with women and children as the first to lose.
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