Healthcare

Kenyan clinic loses more than $2 million in US aid due to Trump abortion policy

A Kenyan clinic that provides sexual and reproductive health services has lost more than $2 million in U.S. funding after President Trump reinstated a ban on aid to organizations that provide, discuss or support abortions.

Family Health Options Kenya (FHOK), Kenya’s oldest family-planning clinic, lost $640,000 in U.S. assistance in October because it rejected the terms of the so-called Mexico City policy.

{mosads}In the months since then, the organization has lost another $1.56 million in U.S. aid because it was unable to renew or bid for funds, FHOK’s director of clinical services, Amos Simpano, told NPR.

That amounts to nearly 60 percent of FHOK’s funds, according to NPR. 

The organization provides sexual and reproductive health services in the country, as well as screenings for cervical cancer and AIDS. 

Melvine Ouyo, a nurse at FHOK, told NPR in an interview that the reach of the loss of U.S. funding goes far beyond abortion services. It also affects the clinic’s ability to provide HIV and AIDS screenings and to offer health education. 

“It means that people in these communities will live without any precaution,” Ouyo said. “A child who requires immunization and [whose] parents may not be able to afford transport to facilities [could] get communicable diseases — measles, TB, diphtheria, hepatitis.”

“And if one gets it, they infect another and another in the community,” she added.

The Mexico City policy — called the “global gag rule” by critics — prohibits federal funds from going to international organizations that discuss, provide or offer referrals for abortion services.

The policy has been reimplemented by every Republican president since Ronald Reagan. Trump signed an executive order days after taking office putting the policy back in place after it was rescinded by former President Obama.

But Trump expanded the policy to include all foreign health assistance that could feasibly fall under the ban, rather than only family-planning funds.

Anti-abortion policies have been a staple of the Trump administration with Vice President Pence saying in February that abortion would end in the U.S. “in our time.” 

Tags Donald Trump family planning global gag rule Mexico City Policy

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