USAID cuts family planning services in Africa amid Trump abortion rule

Ouagadougou – The Marie Stopes Ladies who drive from village to village in the remote north of Burkina Faso offering free contraception, advice on family planning, sexual health and sometimes abortion, may have to stop work in June.

As of January 2017 when President Donald Trump was elected inaugurated as president, the ten have been entirely funded by a $1.25 million (about R15.7 million) grant from USAID but the US development agency cut all money for Marie Stopes International when they refused to comply with a rule reinstated by Trump.

The policy bans any funding to any foreign NGO’s that have carry out abortions anywhere in the world. This move by Trump is seen as him trying to please Christian conservatives who strongly oppose abortion and are a major part of Trump’s political base.

MSI and International Planned Parenthood Federation are among the only four to have rejected the conditions of the order. Both organisations offer abortions services, according to local rules. Both organisations have said it is the last resort to prevent unwanted pregnancies and unsafe births.

According to USAID 733 they say 733 other NGO’s are still receiving funding.

However MSI and IPPF are the two largest NGO”s in Africa who provided free contraception and family planning advice. MSI said the cuts in these programmes will mean many thousands of people in Burkina Fasco will be under threat,

Georges Coulibaly, Marie Stopes’ Burkina Faso manager told Reuters in the capital Ouagadougou, “All those women who’ve been receiving free contraception will have to stop using it because they can’t afford it.”

Photo Credit- Reuters



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