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Kenyan health providers call Trump’s global gag rule ‘a death sentence’ for women

That is how one Kenyan wellness clinic viewpoints President Donald Trump’s ban on US federal funding for global groups that offer, support or talk abortions. Critics predict the coverage that the “global gag rule.”

The US already prohibits the use of capital for overseas family planning centers offering abortions. Nevertheless, the international gag rule goes one step farther because it limits physicians or other health providers in those centers from even mentioning the term, “abortion,” for their own patients.

Kenya is heavily reliant on US health funds to resist HIV/AIDS and supply female reproductive solutions. Family Health Options Kenya says it has been the major supplier of reproductive and sexual health providers in the nation for the previous five decades. It features family planning counselling and screening for cervical cancer and AIDS as only some of the services offered.


Melvine Ouyo, Clinic Director at Family Health Options Kenya

“I think that it’s going to be devastating,” states Melvine Ouyo, a practice manager at FHOK. She’s on the front line of caring for all of Kenya’s young girls who have an unwanted pregnancy.

She tells of a young girl who came into her practice having an unplanned pregnancy. “When she arrived, she had been so suicidal, and she’s 20 years old, resides with a household of three [at which] living standards are extremely bad — an open sewer and no access to safe water. She can’t manage to take a pregnancy to term. And she says, ‘I shall die if I can’t [get] support or services to complete the pregnancy.’ I took her through counselling and managed to refer her suitably, and she had been rescued from committing suicide.”


Aisha received birth control from Family Health Options Kenya to prevent unwanted pregnancy while working in the sex trade

Ouyo along with the business’s clinical services manager, Amos Simpano, have significantly more dreadful tales of young girls who visit FHOK to get assistance.

Simpano states Family Health Options Kenya won’t abide by the gag rule.


Many of the young women live in poor areas where they cannot afford to have a child and need access to contraceptives.

“If we want to sign in the gag rule, it implies then that we will discard our support of reaching out to young ladies, girls who require family planning services.”

He offers another example of a pregnant woman who he watched a couple of weeks ago. “She’s not, based on habits, for pregnant. When her mother went into the marketplace and came back, the woman was dead. She just killed herself. This wouldn’t have occurred if this woman accepted the family planning procedure. This [is] only a good illustration of a single woman and may occur to many different women.”

FHOK has already closed a practice at the Kenyan coastal town of Mombasa and much more cuts might be coming.

Simpano and Ouyo are traveling across the United States and therefore are meeting with lawmakers and activists in hopes of drumming up financial aid. “If we cannot become different ways, if we can’t intervene in the ideal time, we’re likely to find a suffering nation,” states Ouyo.

Other companies which wish to maintain their US funding might need to choose between not supplying advice on abortion or even mentioning it, or, such as FHOK, they risk cutting out other aid-funded applications.

The global gag rule is in fact the casual title for the Mexico City Policy, which has been executed in 1984 under President Ronald Reagan. It prohibits global organizations from using foreign help to cover any medical surgery to end a pregnancy. The coverage generally is placed into practice whenever there’s a Republican president. This was reinstated by Trump in January; he also expanded the coverage to incorporate the billions of dollars for international health help that travelled for HIV, maternal as well as other female reproductive solutions.

However, Ouyo pleads, “We can’t just allow [these women] die.”


Young women waiting to be seen at the Family Health Options Kenya


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