Donald Trump Drastically Expands 'Global Gag Rule' On Abortion

Adjust Comment Print

The administration announced on Monday that not only are they rebranding the measure-from here on out, it will be known as the "Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance" policy-but they will also expand the program to allocate $8.8 billion in foreign aid to distribute to non-profit organizations that comply with the strict anti-abortion guidelines.

'On a myriad of issues, Donald Trump hasn't disappointed evangelicals since he's taken office, ' Brody added. "I just find it unbelievable they're calling it protecting life, because this policy backs women so far into a corner the only choice that's left is to die", Shannon added.

Today, Donald Trump is announcing a new policy entitled "Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance".

Steve Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, earlier this year told LifeSiteNews that by expanding the Mexico City Policy to include all worldwide "health assistance" programs it becomes easier to stop funding of global groups pushing abortion and sterilization, and that the Trump policy will save more lives than past Mexico City Policies.

"That was roughly $600 million", he writes.

The administration modernized the policy to cover all foreign health assistance provided by government agencies including the State Department, U.S. Agency for International Development, the Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, and the Department of Defense. A report from the Center for Health and Gender Equity predicted that Trump's reinstatement of the Global Gag Rule could lead to 6.5 million unplanned pregnancies, 2.1 million unsafe abortions, and 21,700 maternal deaths; now, with the expansion of the policy, it's likely that each of those statistics will increase.

Previously, starting with Reagan, the prohibition of family planning and reproductive health assistance to non-governmental groups performing or promoting abortion only applied to money from USAID and, after 2003, the State Department. The new policy will also not affect emergency disaster relief funds.

The officials said they do not expect any reduction in overall aid for global health programmes. But other USA government support for organizations' overseas health efforts were unaffected.

It states that no organisation receiving USA money can promote or discuss abortion services, even if they are using foreign funds to do so.

The policy, introduced in 1984, holds that no USA government funding for family planning services can be given to foreign clinics or groups that offer abortion services or discuss abortion, even if the funds for those activities come from non-U.S. government sources.

The so-called "Mexico City policy" was first instituted by President Ronald Reagan in 1984 and each of the previous three presidents have taken actions early in their presidency to reverse or reinstitute it. President Trump, newly sworn in, reinstituted the policy on January 23, exactly eight years to the day that his predecessor Barack Obama reversed it.

Under the expanded rule, clinics who combat these health issues will lose their funding if they so much as mention abortion as an option to their patients.

While this might be seen as a win for the GOP and evangelical Trump supporters who are interesting in eliminating abortion, it is a terrifying step for USA aid around the world.

After George W Bush reinstated the Mexico City policy in 2001, 20 developing countries in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East lost some access to contraceptives provided by the US. "Abortion is not health care", she said in a statement. This deeply unpopular policy only serves to deny women and families life-saving health care. The controversial ban won praise from pro-life groups who say it aligns USA foreign aid funding with conservative policies, but drew condemnation from many in the NGO community, who called it a "death warrant" for some women in developing countries.