As 2020 comes to a close, I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your support in this unusual, uncertain year. As a member of the Blue Door Society, you joined your philanthropy with others to reach women and girls in need during these especially difficult times—and your generosity changed lives. Thank you!

As we turn to the year ahead, we have big plans. Just last month, MSI launched our new 2030 strategy, laying out our bold vision for the next decade: By 2030, no abortion will be unsafe, and everyone will have access to contraception.

To realize this bold vision, we will need many partners—people like you who will encourage and help us serve at least 120 million women and girls with high-quality reproductive healthcare, 80% of whom will be those with the greatest need. With your help, we will ensure MSI is reaching 1 in 4 women in the countries where we work by meeting their demand for contraception. And we’ll ensure that 1 in 3 women who seek an abortion will use a safe MSI product or service. You can find out more about our new strategy on our blog.

With the election of President-Elect Biden, we are hopeful that the Global Gag Rule will be repealed early in 2021. The end of this draconian policy will improve the lives of women and girls around the world—but the truth is, it will take time for this change to unfold. Even after the policy is repealed, it could be months before US Government funding again flows to MSI. And when it does, not a cent may be used for safe abortion care. We will always depend on generous people like you to ensure women around the world can access safe abortion services.

Finally, we know that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over and will continue to restrict our ability to reach women and girls with reproductive healthcare. Since March, our teams have found innovative new ways to continue services and reach the clients who need us. Support from Blue Door Society members like you gives us the flexibility to respond to changes as they occur, so we can ensure our services are safe and our doors stay open for those who need us. My gratitude to you is heartfelt! Thank you for being a member of our Blue Door Society. You give us the courage to keep striving to reach the last mile; because of your support, we can reach even more women—and create a future where every woman has choice.

Thank you,

Marjorie Newman-Williams

President, MSI United States

How traditional birth attendants embraced contraception in Uganda

In Karamoja, a region in Uganda, one in every four adolescent girls has already had their first child. The teenage pregnancy rate is high at 24%, and COVID-19 puts even more girls at risk. To reach girls in the region, MSI Uganda recently began working with village leaders and traditional birth attendants, educating them about the importance of contraception so they can spread the word to the families they serve.

Poverty and child marriage are major drivers of teenage pregnancy in the region, but contraceptive use is low, at only 6.5%. There's a shortage of healthcare providers who offer the full range of methods, and sometimes methods are out of stock at health facilities. But beyond those challenges, negative cultural attitudes about contraception—including among men—keep girls from accessing services.

Myths and misconceptions about contraception shouldn’t stop girls from preventing unplanned pregnancies. That’s why MSI Uganda's teams have been engaging with village leaders and traditional birth attendants in villages in Karamoja. They’re sharing the facts about contraception, dispelling myths and encouraging its use, especially for adolescent girls at risk of teen pregnancy.

"Traditional birth attendants and Manyata leaders have high influence, therefore engaging with them is a good strategy to penetrate in their Manyata communities," says Ronnie Aisu, an MSI Uganda team member. By educating traditional birth attendants and members of the Manyata community, MSI Uganda is opening doors for young women to avoid teen pregnancy and secure a brighter future.

Community leaders and traditional birth attendants meet with MSI team members.

Donor spotlight

"I have made an additional charitable contribution to MSI US because of the benefit of the CARES Act passed by Congress this year. I have made this additional gift now since the CARES Act only applies for contributions during the calendar year. Thank you and keep up your good work!"

Clay C., MSI US donor since 2018

An icon of a globe

MSI in the news

“Over the last four years, women have faced continuous attacks on their reproductive freedom, and while the future of the Global Gag Rule remains uncertain, U.S. policy on abortion continues to impact women around the world. ” - Dr. Banchiamlack Dessalegn, regional director for East and Southern Africa

Click here to read the full story in Thomas Reuters.

End-of-year giving

We recognize that as a Blue Door Society member, you have already made a commitment to MSI United States this year. Thank you for your generosity and support. If your circumstances allow would you consider making an additional donation of $X in honor of someone special in your life?

When you give in someone’s honor, you make choice possible for a woman in need. Click here to make a gift on behalf of someone else.

For more information about end-of-year giving, contact Lee Deadwyler, Blue Door Society Manager, at lee.deadwyler@msichoices.org.