|Women’s Organizations Condemn USAID’s Move to Undermine Access to Contraception|
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 3, 2008
Contact: Ellen Marshall 303.960.5055 email@example.com
October 3, 2008, NEW YORK, NY— The International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC), along with its partners across Africa, Asia, and Latin America, condemn the move by The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to pressure several African governments to stop providing Marie Stopes International (MSI) with U.S.-funded contraceptives. The USAID decision will further jeopardize women’s access to contraception, particularly in six Sub-Saharan African countries, at a time when more than 110 million women worldwide do not have access to the contraception they need.
"Women have the right to high quality health services, and the U.S. government has committed to providing them," stated Adrienne Germain, IWHC President. "Forcing women to go without the means to prevent pregnancies they do not want and, in many cases, cannot afford is unhealthy, unjust, and intolerable. In the six countries in question, there are few alternatives. MSI provides 15 to 25 percent of the contraception nationally, and it is the only organization that reaches women living in rural areas. We hope that African governments will demand an immediate solution from the United States.”
The USAID decision, close on the heels of recent attempts to change regulations at the Department of Health and Human Services, is another deplorable example of the Administration’s focus on appeasing its right-wing political base rather than wisely investing resources in basic health services.