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A nonprofit women's health organization in Kenya is confronting an impossible dilemma.After U.S. President Donald Trump's recent executive order reinstating and expanding the so-called "global gag rule," KMET – and many more organizations like it – will have to choose between lifesaving programs. The global gag rule, officially known as the Mexico City policy, prevents official U.S. funding for development aid from going to non-U.S. organizations that provide any kind of abortion services to women – even information or referrals – regardless of how those services are financed. This means that, if KMET continues to provide abortion services to women in Kenya, where 30-40 percent of hospitalizations of women are associated with unsafe abortions, it will lose the funding it needs to perform the similarly lifesaving work of teaching doctors how to handle complications associated with childbirth.The global gag rule is not just devastating to women's health; it is actually counterproductive.With the reinstatement of the global gag rule, hard-won progress in women's health could be stunted, or even reversed, all while violating women's legal and human rights.The global gag rule goes much further, punishing millions of women throughout the developing world simply for being women.
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