Trump details anti-abortion ban over United States global health aid

Oceane Deschanel
Mai 19, 2017

The Gag Rule, or Mexico City Policy is re-instated by every Republican president.

Pace says research could also be affected.

Family planning advocates from Washington, D.C., to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia worry that Trump's Global Gag Rule will not only roll back numerous modest but critical gains African countries have made on safe abortion, but also the decade's worth of progress in increasing family planning, decreasing maternal mortality, and promoting democracy and women's rights more broadly.

The White House announced on May 15 that it will sizably increase the so-called Mexico City policy, a pro-life regulation meant to keep global funding as far away from abortion providers as possible.

Now, under this version of the policy, it is going to apply to basically all global health funding provided by the United States.

YEGANEH TORBATI: Right. When it comes to their global health assistance dollars, they have to abide by this Mexico City policy.

'Abortion is not health care, ' she said.

The White House has announced its plans to expand a Reagan-era policy, which prevents the federal government from funding organizations that perform or promote abortions overseas.

But, specifically, two major USA programs that provide that sort of funding to groups that provide that care, which are PEPFAR and the President's Malaria Initiative, those now come under this rule.

"Family Research Council and the pro-life movement look forward to continuing to work with the Trump administration in bringing about a culture of life in which every child is welcomed into this world and protected under our laws, both here and overseas", concluded Perkins.

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A White House official says there will be no impact on the total amount of federal funds allocated to health programs around the world.

It appears that under this policy, any organization that even supports a separate group that supports abortion rights or shares information about abortion will no longer be eligible for US funding.

President Donald Trump hasn't even been in office for six months, but he has already done considerable damage to abortion rights worldwide.

This is fundamentally about one thing - US dollars should not be used to fund abortions or the promotion of abortions because the United States should clearly stand on the side of life and helping the vulnerable around the world. "In short, Trump's global gag rule endangers the lives of mothers and hurts families, and it undermines America's moral authority on the world stage".

But critics argue in poor countries, there are not many health care providers. The policy won't apply to all funding.

Reacting to Monday's announcement, Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE) president Serra Sippel said the policy's expansion will also block "women's access to skilled birth attendants" and contraception, and will derail "efforts to prevent HIV infections among newborns". It changed the way USA financial assistance is distributed internationally.

Women's health experts also cite a 2011 study by Stanford researchers that shows similar policies may be linked to an increase in abortion rates in sub-Saharan African countries - the exact opposite of the outcome Trump and anti-abortion advocates of the rule are seeking. Administration officials, who would only discuss the policy on condition of anonymity, said money could be "redirected" to other organisations offering similar health services.

On the other hand, people who want to restrict abortions see this as a huge victory.

But it need not be surprising to be dismaying and infuriating that the White House is poised to endanger women around the world in service of the far right's die-hard anti-abortion agenda.

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