PATH applauds President Biden’s memorandum repealing the Mexico City Policy. This harmful policy limited the ability of public health organizations to collaborate with trusted local partners to reach communities in need and inappropriately restricted locally driven decision-making. The expanded policy under the Trump administration fractured integrated health systems and threatened access to lifesaving care for people in many countries that partner with the United States to advance health.
“The ability for all people to access comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services is a fundamental human right,” says Carla Costa Sandine, chief of External Affairs at PATH. “And yet, this policy has prevented too many people around the world from accessing the services they need.”
For decades, we have known that the Mexico City Policy undermined the sexual and reproductive health and rights of people—especially women and girls—everywhere. The policy limited access to voluntary family planning services, resulting in more unintended pregnancies and increased maternal morbidity and mortality. Where clinics were forced to close, communities often lost access to a range of critical services, such as HIV prevention and treatment and nutrition services.
By repealing this policy, US global health programs will be able to restore partnerships and together advance integrated, people-centered health care. We commend the Biden administration for its evidence-based policy and prioritization of sexual and reproductive health and rights. This is a positive first step toward achieving health equity for women, girls, and communities around the world.