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Global Health Council Statement on the Release of the Six-Month Review of Mexico City Policy

Washington, DC (February 8, 2018) —  Today Global Health Council responds to the Department of State’s recently released 6-month review of the expansion of the Mexico City Policy (renamed to the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance). The State Department proposed the review to gauge the policy’s impact on U.S. global health programs. Specifically, this review focuses on implementation challenges since the reinstatement of the policy.

“While Global Health Council recognizes the Department of State conducted a review six months after the reinstatement of the policy, we believe that this initial analysis does not offer a complete picture,” stated Loyce Pace, Global Health Council President and Executive Director. “This review is only the first step to understanding the full impact of the expansion. Given the expanded policy has far-reaching effects across a number of programs and beneficiaries, we urge the State Department to prioritize and ensure the full participation of civil society and other stakeholders in the review to be completed in 2018.”

On January 23, 2017, President Trump reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy, which requires foreign non-governmental organizations to certify that they will not use their own funds to provide information, referrals, or services for legal abortion or to advocate for access to abortion services in their own country as a condition of receiving U.S. global health assistance. In May, the State Department released guidance on the implementation of the expanded policy and at the time committed to conducting a six-month review of its impact on global health programs.

Last year, Global Health Council released a statement of principles endorsed by over 100 civil society organizations, which provided recommendations for a review that is meaningful and comprehensive, and proposed an annual review to understand how the policy affects U.S. programs and their outcomes long-term.

Global Health Council is concerned that the first review does not fully embrace the recommendations put forth in this statement. Of particular concern is that the policy does not affect programs until a foreign NGO receives new funding, therefore the current review, which covered the period May through September 2017, cannot provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact. Full implementation of the policy could come as late as September 30, 2018. As a result, while initial challenges to implementation were documented, the significant impacts of the policy will not be evident until much later.

Moreover, while the State Department did solicit feedback from civil society organizations, the comment period was less than two weeks and minimal guidance was offered to ensure comprehensive comments were provided.

“Global Health Council remains committed to ensuring that transparent and thorough reviews are conducted each year,” said Pace. “U.S. investments in global health have helped millions of people around the world, and it is critical that we understand the impact of this policy and how we can mitigate harm.”

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About Global Health Council

Established in 1972, Global Health Council (GHC) is the leading membership organization supporting and connecting advocates, implementers, and stakeholders around global health priorities worldwide. GHC represents the collaborative voice of the community on key issues; we convene stakeholders around key priorities and actively engage with decision makers to influence global health policy. Learn more at www.globalhealth.org.

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Media Contacts

Danielle Heiberg, Senior Advocacy Manager
Global Health Council
dheiberg@globalhealth.org
(703) 717-5286

 

 

A Hopeful Future: How We Can End Preventable Deaths of Moms and Kids Worldwide

Organized by Save the Children Action Network (SCAN)

October 19
6:30 PM – 7:30 PM
The University of Washington (William Foege Building)
3720 15th Ave NE, Room S060
Seattle, WA

MORE INFORMATION AND REGISTRATION

Since 1990, the world has reduced mortality rates for children under 5 by more than one-half. The U.S. government, through both Republican and Democratic administrations, has led this international effort to provide developing countries tool to care for their children – often with simple, proven and inexpensive interventions that address leading causes of death, such as diarrhea and pneumonia.

Building on those gains, in 2014 the U.S. declared ending preventable children and maternal deaths around the world a national priority. But where do we go from here? What can we do to transform these words from a commitment into a reality?

Learn from an expert panel what are the current maternal and child health needs around the world, what the U.S. has done thus far to improve the health and well-being of these women and children, and what can be done to truly end all preventable deaths of mothers, infants and young children.

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Resilient and Stable: Building Strong Health Systems to Protect Women, Adolescents, and Children

Organized by
MSH, Global Health Council, Johnson & Johnson, and Syrian American Medical Society

September 18
1:00 PM – 1:30 PM (Lunch) & 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM (Program)
Harvard Club, 35 W 44th Street
New York, New York

RSVP

In countries facing humanitarian crises, whether torn by war or civil unrest, or affected by natural disasters or epidemics, shocks and stresses often undercut the health care system. These systems struggle to provide basic health care needs in the face of instability, often enduring a decimated workforce, damaged facilities and infrastructure, and broken supply chains. Those most impacted – women, adolescents, and children – are also the most vulnerable.

As nations emerge from periods of crisis, systems adapt in an attempt to recover from shocks and opportunities arise to leverage existing tools and approaches that communities are already using.

This session will dive into approaches for strengthening and rebuilding health systems in especially challenging contexts, through integrated programs that increase the adaptive capacity of health systems and protect the health of those most vulnerable while unlocking their individual and collective capacity to rebound from crises stronger than before.

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