A Kenyan clinic has lost 60% in US aid for defying Trump's abortion policy

The cut in funding has led some pregnant Kenyans to resort to unsafe measures to terminate pregnancies

Family Health Options Kenya (FHOK) has lost over Sh220 million ($2.2 million) in funding forcing it to close one of its 14 clinics and curtail services at others.

The loss of funding at the country's longest-established family planning clinic has made operations unsustainable, according to a FHOK reproductive health nurse.

"We had to lay off six staff [out of 10] just to be able to sustain the clinic. We also have not been able to acquire any [new] equipment in the past several months because of a lack of funding," Melvine Ouyo said in an interview with Washington-based National Public Radio (NPR)

She said that cut in funding has led some pregnant Kenyans to resort to unsafe measures to terminate pregnancies including the use of crochet needles.

Global gag rule

The loss of funding has also jeopardized essential services that are unrelated to abortion — like cancer screening of reproductive organs, treatment for HIV, postnatal care and vaccinations for diseases.

Mr Trump and other Republican presidents dating to the 1980s have used the so-called gag rule to spread their anti-abortion policies to developing countries.

Even then, there is evidence to show that restricting family planning funds could actually have the opposite effect.

A Stanford University study found that rates of induced abortions rose sharply between 1994 and 2008 in African countries most affected by the rule.

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