With the Republicans once again in power, it is no surprise “The Mexico City Policy” has been reinstated. Global health is sadly politicized. Republican presidents remove funding from world organizations that offer abortion services, and then Democrats reinstate funding. World health organizations have become accustomed to this ping-pong policy. Yet, as the BBC writes:
“The Trump order goes even further than previous Republican administrations, which only targeted reproductive health services, by extending the ban to cover all global health assistance provided by all departments or agencies.”
This will likely increase the spread of diseases such as malaria. It will reduce family planning and sex education, increasing the risk of unwanted pregnancies and STDs (including HIV).
One aspect of the pro-life movement I have difficulty understanding is the concept that legally banning abortion somehow will reduce unwanted pregnancies. Instead, many women will have unsafe abortions.
In Time Magazine this week there is an interview with Dr. Willie Parker, who is now an abortion provider in the South. He grew up in Alabama with Christian values, firmly believing in the pro-life movement when he became a doctor.
In the interview he explains.
I had to think more seriously…about the fact that I see women on a regular basis who have unplanned and unwanted pregnancies. The compassion that welled up inside of me for each woman – each woman had a story…it came to a point where…what I believed and what I practiced began to come into conflict.
My epiphany came while listening to a sermon by Dr. Martin Luther King. In that sermon he described what made the Good Samaritan good. Someone had been robbed, left on the side of the road injured, and multiple people passed that person by. They were all afraid of what might happen to them if they stopped to help…the Samaritan stopped and provided aid. Dr. King said what made that person good was his ability to reverse the question of concern, to ask what will happen to this person if I don’t stop to help.