On the Eve of the Women’s March on Washington, International Public Health Organization Warns Against Turning Back the Clock on Women’s Rights
January 20, 2017, BOSTON—Pathfinder International stands with women and men in Washington, other cities around the United States, and the world, who are gathering in solidarity for women’s rights. We call on President Trump to protect women’s health—not only in America, but for women across the globe.
“I remember when women in the United States did not have access to contraceptive methods the way they do today. It was not uncommon to know a woman who had died of complications from unplanned pregnancy or unsafe abortion,” said Judy Kahrl, Pathfinder Board Member, daughter of its founder, and long-time women’s health advocate. “I have seen the positive impact of programs that support access to family planning and safe abortion around the world—on women and on their families and communities. Turning our backs now threatens the health and well-being of millions.”
Last year, according to the Guttmacher Institute, US funding for contraception helped prevent 6 million unintended pregnancies, 2.3 million abortions (2 million of them unsafe), and 11,000 maternal deaths. As the largest funder and implementer of global health programs worldwide, the US government sets the tone for the entire world not just on reproductive rights, but on foreign aid as a whole. President Trump must continue that leadership.
If funding is restricted and reduced for key global health programs, women around the world will suffer. Like those marching, we believe access to safe and legal abortion is an integral part of a woman’s right to decide whether and when to have children.
Moreover, studies have shown that providing contraception and other reproductive health services pays dividends—$120 per dollar spent. Lack of access to family planning and reproductive health information affects not only women, but entire communities and nations.
The movement for reproductive rights is a global movement. An attack on a woman’s reproductive rights anywhere is an attack on women and families everywhere. Pathfinder respectfully reminds President Trump that the world is watching. Women’s health and rights must be protected.
About Pathfinder International
Pathfinder International is driven by the conviction that all people, regardless of where they live, have the right to decide whether and when to have children, to exist free from fear and stigma, and to live the lives they choose. Since 1957, we have partnered with local governments, communities and health systems in the developing world to remove barriers to critical sexual and reproductive health services. Together, we expand access to contraception, promote healthy pregnancies, save mothers’ lives, and stop the spread of new HIV infections, wherever the need is most urgent. Our work ensures millions of women, men, and young people are able to choose their own paths forward.
For more information, please contact:
Colleen Fazio, Pathfinder International