In this video op-ed, Melvine Ouyo, a reproductive health nurse and former clinic director at Family Health Options Kenya, discusses the impact of the Mexico City Policy — or “global gag rule” — over the past four years.
The controversial policy, which withholds all U.S. global health assistance from international organizations that provide or offer information on abortions, was rescinded by new U.S. President Joe Biden with immediate effect in a memorandum issued Thursday.
“The lack of access to very essential services like family planning for our young people ... led to so many deaths from complications that could have been prevented,” Ouyo said, describing how facilities “were closed because of the policy.”
With the change in policy under Biden, “the future of our people now looks bright because we believe HIV care and treatment will now be available to most of our communities,” she said, adding that she hopes organizations will be able to reopen facilities.
Watch the video for more on what repealing the controversial policy means for key communities’ ability to access services.