‘Mexico City Policy’ Will ‘Increase’ Spread of AIDS, New York Times Op-Ed States
"George W. Bush, in his first major decision as president, took an action that will increase the spread of AIDS," New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis writes, referring to Bush's reinstatement of the "Mexico City policy," which prohibits U.S. funding of overseas programs that use their own funds to perform or advocate for abortion. Lewis writes, "The Bush rule says that clinics in developing countries will lose U.S. funds if they even discuss abortion with their patients." Lewis depicts a scenario in which this policy could pave the way for vertical HIV transmission: "A woman who has AIDS comes to a clinic somewhere in Africa or Asia. Drugs to prevent transmission of the disease to newborn infants are not available there. She desperately wants to avoid bearing the child. But the doctors or nurse cannot advise her on a safe, legal abortion if the clinic wants to keep its American funds." Lewis predicts that "many family planning groups, knowing that women will not understand a refusal to discuss abortion, will decide to give up U.S. support," which will have "drastic consequences" on these programs' contraceptive supplies. Thus, Lewis concThis is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.