Anti-abortion activists in Latin America are using the deceptive Planned Parenthood “investigation” videos as an excuse to attack local family planning organizations.
In Latin America and the Caribbean, abortion is heavily restricted in all but six countries. Of the seven nations in the world that forbid the procedure in all circumstances–including threat to the mother’s life–five are located in Latin America.
Of course, the harsh restrictions don’t stop abortion from happening, and horror stories abound: of 4 million unsafe and illegal abortions occurring per year; of women being killed and mutilated after botched back-alley procedures; of pregnant victims of rape and incest–like, recently, an 11-year-old girl in Paraguay who was raped by her stepfather–being forced to carry their abusers’ children to term.
Since its founding in the 1950s, the International Planned Parenthood Federation Western Hemisphere Region (IPPF-WHR) has been working with local organizations to help women maintain reproductive autonomy despite such draconian laws. IPPF-WHR collaborates with 40 partner organizations in 38 countries throughout the Americas and Caribbean, working to ensure that women can access sexual and reproductive health services. However, because of the recent, deeply disingenuous attacks on Planned Parenthood in America, these international partners have come under fire as well. As anti-abortion groups and politicians rush to malign Planned Parenthood over deceptively edited videos, they’re not merely endangering women’s health in the United States: Their actions are threatening women around the globe.
By Callie Beusman