‘Mexico City Policy’ Could Hurt AIDS Prevention Efforts in Cambodia, Chicago Tribune Reports
The reinstatement by President Bush of the "Mexico City policy" -- a directive that bars U.S. funding of overseas groups that use their own money to perform or actively promote abortion -- has had a "chilling effect" on many NGOs, especially those in Cambodia, the Chicago Tribune reports. One observer said that the policy could "cripple" as many as 90% of Cambodia's health care NGOs, many of which provide disease prevention training and supplies, condoms and family planning counseling. Even though privately funded abortion counseling constitutes "a small part" of the groups' services, Cambodian clinics will lose all U.S. funding, according to Yoshinko Zenda of the United Nations Population Fund. Zenda said that the loss of funding will prove to be a "disaster for Cambodia," which has the "highest HIV infection rate in Asia and the highest in the world outside sub-Saharan Africa." Zenda added that, to avoid cases of AIDS orphans, HIV-positive women should be informed of their "full range of [reproductive] options" (Myers, Chicago Tribune, 3/14).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.