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Vol 50 No 20

Published 8th October 2009

Family planning un-gagged

A key donor of funds for reproductive health is the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Its work was hampered by the global gag rule until, as one of his first acts in office, President Barack Obama abolished it. The gag rule (sometimes called the 'Mexico City policy') prohibited clinics that receive US health funds from providing any abortion services or advice. They even told health centres not to discuss post-abortion care for women whose health was affected by an operation carried out elsewhere. The Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana lost its US funding under the rule and condom distribution fell by 40% overnight.

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