|United States Bans Contraception for Africa: Young Women's Lives in Jeopardy|
WASHINGTON, D.C. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has issued instructions to force several African nations to discontinue U.S.-funded contraceptives to Marie Stopes International (MSI), one of the world’s leading family planning organizations.
The decision by USAID would limit the contraceptive commodity distribution choices of several sovereign African governments that receive U.S.-funded contraceptives. Given that Marie Stopes International is a major distributor for contraceptive commodities in many African nations, this decision will leave a significant gap in family planning services for poor women, most notably in Ghana, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.
“This harmful decision continues the long history of hostility and incompetence by the Bush Administration when it comes to international family planning,” said James Wagoner, President of Advocates for Youth. “First, the Administration reinstates the global gag rule, cuts funding for UNFPA and other international family planning, and now, seeks to play politics with the lives of young women by banning access to important contraceptive commodities.”
Family planning services play a major role in protecting the lives of young women throughout the world.
“The need for young women to have access to family planning services and commodities is undeniable,” added Wagoner. “Marie Stopes International plays a valuable role in helping women plan their families. This decision by the Bush Administration demonstrates once again that the health and lives of young women come second to ideological and political interests.”
Advocates for Youth is a national, nonprofit organization that creates programs and supports policies that help young people make safe, responsible decisions about their sexual and reproductive health.