On the third anniversary of the Global Gag Rule (formally the Mexico City Policy), Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) launched a free, open-source, evidence-based online course on medication abortion. Here, Dr. Manisha Kumar, family medicine doctor and head of the Task Force on Safe Abortion Care at MSF, explains why.
Talking about abortion is not a crime. These days, however, health care providers and humanitarian workers who receive US funding overseas risk being shut down if they do just that.
The Global Gag Rule—which President Donald Trump reinstated and expanded on January 23, 2017—prohibits doctors, nurses, and other health workers around the world from even speaking about abortion. If they do, they could lose their US government funding. Health workers are relied upon to provide thorough, evidence-based medical information, and now they’ve been silenced in the places where that information is needed the most.