Young Scholars Series:

The Problems with Linking Specific Foreign Policy to Abortion in Developing Countries

December 3, 2013

Young Scholar: Lucia Muchova

Lucia Muchova (M.A.) is a graduate of the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University (SAIS) with experience in international development research and consultancy in Uganda and Bosnia and Herzegovina. She has authored several analyses for C-FAM’s weekly publications, drawing on her background in economics and international relations. She holds a B.A. from the University of Cambridge.


Critical review of Eran Bendavid, Patrick Avila, and Grant Miller, “United States aid policy and induced abortion in sub-Saharan Africa,” in World Health Organization Bulletin Online, 2011

The World Health Organization published a report claiming that a U.S. policy withholding funding for abortion in developing countries leads to more abortions in those countries.  Muchova re-analyzes the data and offers a reasoned critique of the study’s methodology and conclusions.  She points out significant gaps in the available data such as the unreliability of measures of abortion rates in African countries, many of which have laws protecting the unborn.  She also points out the weaknesses of the “exposure index” the authors use to determine the relative impact of the U.S. policy against abortion funding between countries.  Lucia Muchova’s paper provides key evidence-based counter-arguments to refute the claim that restricting funding for abortion not only fails to prevent abortions, but could actually lead to more of them.