Sierra magazine takes on the Global Gag Rule
For many women in rural Uganda, MSI offers the only chance to access contraception. But President Trump's Global Gag Rule has revoked funding for these life-changing services. The policy has increased women's suffering—and set back efforts to address the climate crisis.
The latest issue of Sierra magazine is dedicated to gender equity and the climate crisis. The magazine highlights the dire consequences of the expanded Global Gag Rule for women in Africa. Since MSI has lost US Government funding, the women we serve have faced more unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions and preventable pregnancy-related deaths. But the effects of the Global Gag Rule go further, impeding everything from poverty reduction to tackling the climate crisis. Research shows that voluntary family planning is one of the top 10 most effective responses to climate change.
"When girls and women are stripped of their right to control their reproduction, we are also grinding to a halt some of the most effective interventions against climate change."
A new perspective on population
The same issue challenges outdated ideas that blame women for the number of children they have. The truth is, wealthier nations produce far more greenhouse gases per capita than poorer nations with large populations. A US resident who owns a car, eats meat, or flies for vacation has a significantly larger carbon footprint than a woman in Uganda with a large family.
Right now, 214 million women worldwide want to avoid getting pregnant but can't access contraception. Giving every woman the chance to make her own decisions about her body is the right thing to do—and it's good for the environment.
Studies show that education, economic opportunity, health care, and reproductive choice improve the lives of women and their families, which in turn helps communities; such gains are also good for the planet.
Advancing gender equity and protecting our environment go hand in hand. At MSI, we're committed to helping women take control of their own bodies and futures—so they can help create a better future for all of us.