The Tyee has published my article Is Donald Trump an Ebola-Level Global Health Threat? Excerpt:
No individual has ever been declared a global health emergency, but a case can be made that President Donald Trump will be a genuine threat not only to the health and wellbeing of Americans, but of people all over the world — especially women.
On Jan. 23, just three days after his inauguration, Trump restored the Mexico City Policy, which is “to ensure that U.S. taxpayer dollars do not fund organizations or programs that support or participate in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization.” What defines “coercion” is unclear.
Since Ronald Reagan, Republican presidents have backed it, and Democratic presidents have dropped it — a critical policy affecting hundreds of millions of women, depending on which man has been president since 1981 when Reagan took office.
The next day Trump supported Bill HR-7, which bans any federal spending on health insurance and Medicaid programs that cover the cost of abortions. The bill has been passed by the House of Representatives and is awaiting Senate approval. Expect it to be law soon.
And on Jan. 25, Trump issued an order for “at least a 40 per cent overall decrease” in support for international organizations like the United Nations.
While these edicts and actions certainly threaten American groups like Planned Parenthood, the real threat is international and aimed at women. The World Heath Organization (WHO), for example, runs extensive programs on contraception and family planning.
And that includes promoting access to safe abortion. “Over 300 million women in the world currently suffer from long-term or short-term illness brought about by pregnancy or childbirth,” WHO says in one report. “The 529,000 annual maternal deaths, including 68,000 deaths attributable to unsafe abortion, are even more unevenly spread than newborn or child deaths: only one per cent occur in rich countries.”