Tags: abstinence, birth control, discrimination, intergrity in science
Women in six African countries–Ghana, Malawi,Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe–will be denied birth control because the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is demanding that their governments terminate a British program, Marie Stopes International, that supplies contraceptives.
USAID erroneously charges that Marie Stopes International cooperates with the Chinese government on “coercive abortion and involuntary sterlizations.” This charge has been repeated over the years against organizations supplying birth control to needy women in developing countries and is both baseless and damaging.
Women in poor African countries face unintended pregnancy (often beginning early in their adolescence), unsafe abortion, childbirth injuries, and sexually transmitted infections such as HIV/AIDS. Birth control can help with all these, as well as the gender inequities that exacerbate them. Restricting or removing access to contraception increases poverty, disease, and early death in these countries.
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