Mexico City Policy puts girls’ health at risk

7 JANUARY 2017

Millions of vulnerable girls and women will suffer if sexual and reproductive health services that provide vital support to them are withdrawn or cut back as a consequence of the Mexico City Policy.

Plan International is concerned about the impact that the Mexico City Policy can have on the lives of millions of vulnerable girls and women across the world.

Quality sexual and reproductive health care services and information can transform the lives of girls and women, as well as their communities. The wider benefits of these services are helping pull millions out of poverty.

Lack of access to sexual and reproductive health care services and information has broad implications that go beyond health, and is likely to impact girls’ and young women’s educational opportunities and career prospects.

Girls need education, information and quality services

The wider benefits of these services are helping pull millions out of poverty

We recognise the importance of preventing unintended pregnancy through the provision of comprehensive sex education including accurate information on contraceptives as well as access to quality contraceptive services (including emergency contraception) for all girls and women.

Our experience shows that comprehensive sex education and access to quality contraceptive services can significantly improve girls’ and women’s life chances, including their survival and survival of their children.

Vulnerable girls need support

Unintended pregnancies are often a consequence of violations of girls’ and women’s fundamental rights. Millions of vulnerable girls and women will suffer if sexual and reproductive health services that provide vital support to them are withdrawn or cut back as a consequence of the Mexico City Policy.

Promoting health for all and achieving gender equality are at the heart of the Global Goals. Mexico City Policy could have unintended consequences when it comes to achieving targets related to reducing global maternal mortality rates and ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health care services. Denying funding to vital health care provisions will also undermine investments to end extreme poverty and promote economic and social development.