N24 Correspondent, KATHMANDU:- With the US President Joe Biden reinforcing abortion rights on Thursday, January 28, 2021, it has positively impacted family planning works of several US agencies working in Nepal including the USAID.
The USAID used to work for women’s reproductive health and safe abortion and was funding a large number of Nepal’s civil society organizations.
During President Donald Trump’s tenure, social works related to abortion rights were completed banned and even an interaction on this topic was not allowed.
“Women should have access to the healthcare they need. For too many women today, both at home and abroad, that is not possible,” said President Biden in his executive order.
“Undue restrictions on the use of Federal funds have made it harder for women to obtain necessary healthcare.The Federal Government must take action to ensure that women at home and around the world are able to access complete medical information, including with respect to their reproductive health,” President Biden said.
“It is the policy of my Administration to support women’s and girls’ sexual and reproductive health and rights in the United States, as well as globally,” President Biden added.
In response to President Biden’s new policy, USAID has said that the global US agency for development supports and welcomes the new policy.
“Today, I am proud to recognize President Biden’s commitment to improving the lives of beneficiaries, particularly women and girls, around the world by revoking the January 23, 2017 Presidential Memorandum (The Mexico City Policy), thereby rescinding the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance (PLGHA) policy,” said Gloria Steele, USAID’s Acting Administrator.
“This includes increasing access to critical health services, such as HIV/AIDS care for key populations, family planning information and services, and effective tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment. Our efforts help promote safe motherhood, improve the health of mothers and their children, and increase educational and economic opportunities for women and girls,” Steele said.
“USAID has long championed the reproductive health and reproductive rights of women and girls, including access to voluntary family planning. Women and girls who are able to make informed decisions about their lives, including to stay in school, delay marriage, and control their reproductive lives, are more likely to be healthier and have healthier families,” Steele further said.
With the resumption of US funding on women’s health, many non-governmental organizations, including media, are expected to resume their works, too.
“Nepal’s media sector, including radio and television channels, will now receive the USAID and other US agencies’ funding for their awareness programs on women’s health and other social issues. Many local NGOs, too, will receive funding. Nepal’s civil society is delighted with the Biden administration’s new announcement,” said Kam Raj Pant, a social activist based in Nepal.
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