From Burkina to Zimbabwe, U.S. aid cuts squeeze family planning services

Source: Reuters

OUAGADOUGOU (Reuters) – 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.

The ten have been entirely funded by a $1.25 million grant from USAID but the U.S. development agency cut all money for Marie Stopes International when it refused to comply with a rule reinstated by Republican President Donald Trump in January 2017.

It bans funding to any foreign NGO carrying out or offering advice on abortions anywhere. The goal is to please Christian conservatives who strongly oppose abortion and are a major part of Trump’s political base.

MSI and the International Planned Parenthood Federation are among only four to reject the conditions of the order. They offer abortion services, in accordance with local rules, and say it is a last resort in preventing unwanted or unsafe births.

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