What are the consequences of “One of Us” on SRHR and maternal health in developing countries?
One of us requests that the assistance of the European Union should not be used to fund abortion, directly or indirectly, through the funding of organisations that “encourage or promote abortion”.
It wishes to de-fund aid agencies that provide abortions or advice that might lead to abortions. But these are the same agencies that provide a much wider range of essential maternal health services such as family planning, pre-natal healthcare, etc.
One of Us could therefore negatively affect a whole range of sexual and reproductive health and rights programmes and services as shown in the video on the right-hand side.
Reproductive health is described by the Cairo Programme as:
“a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and […] not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, in all matters relating to the reproductive system and to its functions and processes. Reproductive health therefore implies that people are able to have a satisfying and safe sex life and that they have the capability to reproduce and the freedom to decide if, when and how often to do so.”
Organisations promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights would lose 120 million USD in EU development aid if the One of us initiative is adopted. SRHR providers work hard to ensure the health of pregnant women and the elimination of sexually transmitted infections through education, contraception and integration programmes.
Almost 800 women in the developing world die every day during pregnancy and childbirth. Most of these deaths could be avoided through SRHR services. The improvement of the health of mothers and children and the promotion of reproductive health have been described as a priority of the Millennium Development Goals in its article 5. Cutting this budget would have disastrous consequences for services helping pregnant women and children in developing countries.