In January 2017, the US reinstated and expanded the Global Gag Rule, formally known as the Mexico City Policy, which stops US aid to all health programmes run by organisations who perform or counsel on family planning. Many family planning services however are often bundled up with other US-funded provisions, and these vital health services are now under threat.
The Association Burundaise pour le Bien-Etre Familial's (ABUBEF) in Burundi provides vital integrated services to local communities including contraception, prevention and management of HIV/AIDS, youth counselling and education, pre-marital counselling, and antenatal and post-natal care. 80% of ABUBEF's clients are poor, marginalized, socially excluded and/or under-served such as young people living with HIV, internally displaced persons, sex workers, drug users and street children. "We have 18 service points, outreach mobile clinics and community-based services. Almost all our contraceptives, HIV reagents, STI drugs, antiretroviral and consumables for HIV management are procured through US-financed government programs. All these are now affected by the Global Gag Rule,” says ABUBEF.
Partnering with ABUBEF in Burundi is the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) who promote sexual and reproductive health for women and their children, globally advocating for the right of women to make their own choices in family planning. "Reproductive health is a right. The Global Gag Rule actively restricts and violates an individual’s right to choose. Millions will be denied the lifesaving healthcare they need, hitting hardest women living at the margins of society – the poorest, the most remote and those under 25.” IPPF have lost USD $100m for not supporting the Global Gag Rule.
One year on from the reinstatement and expansion of the Global Gag Rule the human cost is evident in Burundi in those affected by the loss of US funding.
Commission by IPPF