•PMNCH said 35% of respondents primarily active in Africa, South Asia and the Americas believe that there is reduced access to these services.
•The 52 responses were collated between March and July 2023 among local, regional and global organisations involved in women’s, children’s and adolescent health advocacy.
There is less access to Sexual and reproductive health services in Africa, a report done by the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH)has found.
PMNCH report released ahead of the UN General Assembly in New York notes that the accessibility was reduced after the abortion ruling was made in the US.
The report was released in partnership with Fòs Feminista, AMREF and Aga Khan University in Kenya.
In the ruling, the US Supreme Court's decision in 2022 ended the federal constitutional right to abortion previously established by the Supreme Court in 1973’s landmark ruling.
In the special report released on Friday, PMNCH said 35% of respondents primarily active in Africa, South Asia and the Americas believe that there is reduced access to these services.
The 52 responses were collated between March and July 2023 among local, regional and global organisations involved in women’s, children’s and adolescent health advocacy.
According to the report, One-quarter of respondents perceive negative changes in domestic funding and international funding for SRH services including family planning, abortion care and post-abortion care.
The report noted that more than half of respondents think that overturning the law emboldened anti-abortion movements in their countries.
Respondents believed overturning the ruling is limiting opportunities among key stakeholders and decision-makers to discuss and support SRHR policies.
Board Chair and former Prime Minister of New Zealand Helen Clark said the effects of the overturned ruling extend far beyond US borders.
“As is often said, ‘When America sneezes, the world catches cold. The ruling also lends spurious legitimacy to those who seek to restrict the rights of women and may also encourage some countries to move towards their own regressive and restrictive abortion laws,” she said.
“This cannot be accepted. Now more than ever, we must invest in protecting sexual and reproductive health services, increasing public education on the value of these services, and upholding human rights.”
Survey results revealed deep concern about the perceived local effects of the U.S. decision in some countries.
“Most likely, abortion advocacy in the country will be impacted, especially for us at the forefront,” reported one Ugandan NGO.
“We also anticipate that women will go into hiding and procure unsafe abortions rather than having the courage to go to (health) facilities.”
Another organisation from Sierra Leone focused on adolescents and youth said funding has been a problem.
“Funding for abortion advocacy has been a challenge for the most part, but with the Roe v. Wade repeal, it has doubled the constraints and challenges around access to funding," they said.
During the UNGA summit, world leaders will gather to engage in the annual high-level General Debate under the theme, “Rebuilding trust and Reigniting Global Solidarity: Accelerating Action on the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals towards Peace, prosperity, progress and Sustainability for all.”