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Impacts of the Global Gag Rule on sexual and reproductive health and rights in the Global South: A scoping review

Lane, S; Ayeb-Karlsson, S; Shahvisi, A; (2020) Impacts of the Global Gag Rule on sexual and reproductive health and rights in the Global South: A scoping review. Global Public Health , 16 (12) pp. 1804-1819. 10.1080/17441692.2020.1840611. Green open access

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Abstract

The Global Gag Rule is a United States policy that blocks global health funding to foreign non-governmental organisations if they engage in abortion-related activities. It has been implemented by every Republican administration since 1984 and remains in operation at the time of writing in its most stringent and extensive form. It has been criticised for its implications for women’s bodily autonomy, its censorship of non-governmental organisations and health professionals, and for its impact on the health of populations in affected countries. To capture the effects of the policy to date, we conducted a scoping review in April 2020. Forty-eight articles met our eligibility criteria, and were analysed thematically, noting the effects on: the operations of non-governmental organisations; maternal health; sexually transmitted infections; marginalised groups; reproductive rights. We found that the policy increased the abortion rate and had a negative impact on maternal health, STIs, and the health of marginalised groups. We conclude that the policy amounts to the neocolonial co-optation of sexual and reproductive health in the Global South to advance an ideological agenda in the Global North. We urge that the policy be repealed as part of the broader project of protecting and decolonising sexual and reproductive health globally.

Type: Article
Title: Impacts of the Global Gag Rule on sexual and reproductive health and rights in the Global South: A scoping review
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/17441692.2020.1840611
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17441692.2020.1840611
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Public, Environmental & Occupational Health, Global Gag Rule, global health, health policy, human rights, sexual and reproductive health, POLICY, ABORTION, SERVICES, PARTIES, PEPFAR, POWER, CARE
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Inst for Risk and Disaster Reduction
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10141722
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