Published: Wed, May 17, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

Trump Expands "Global Gag Rule" Putting Millions at Risk Worldwide

Trump Expands

"Previously known within the US government as the Mexico City Policy, Trump's expanded global gag rule has been deceptively re-branded 'Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance, '" the group said in a statement. On a myriad of issues, Donald Trump hasn't disappointed evangelicals since he's taken office.

Also not covered under the new policy are referrals for abortion in cases of "rape, incest, or endangerment of the life of the woman", one of the official said. In January, President Trump reinstated the policy, which blocks taxpayer funds to non-governmental organizations that perform or promote abortion overseas.

The U.S. government partners with many faith based organizations who they anticipate will agree to the new terms and continue to receive funding.

Trump had expanded the restrictions, also known as the Mexico City Policy, to ensure that it covers not only family planning funding but all global health funding.

The State Department could not give specifics on how numerous partners in programs such as PEPFAR, which comprises $6 billion of the affected funding, it anticipated refusing to sign on to the new terms. But even some who aren't involved in advocating abortion as a family planning method say they won't sign on. He expanded it to include not just family planning assistance but all USA global health funding-an unprecedented move that swept up many other critical programs in addition to family planning, including those that address HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health, and Zika response.

The key line from the memorandum is where it says the secretary of state will be allowed to "extend the requirements of the reinstated memorandum to global health assistance furnished by all departments or agencies". Excluded will be humanitarian assistance such as migration and refugee-assistance activities, USAID disaster and humanitarian-relief activities, and U.S. Department of Defense disaster and humanitarian relief.

When the GRG last went into effect in 2001, according to the Center for American Progress, contraception donations from the US shuddered to an abrupt halt, leaving 20 developing countries without the resources on which they relied.

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"U.S. taxpayer money should not be used to support foreign organizations that perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations", a senior administration official said.

Announced under President Reagan at a 1984 United Nations conference in Mexico City, the policy was rescinded by President Clinton, reinstated by the second President Bush, and rescinded again by President Obama.

"No longer will we undermine the pro-life laws and cultural commitments of other countries by funding organizations like Marie Stopes International that obsessively promote and perform abortion", Dannenfelser added. We know that outlawing abortion doesn't keep it from happening - if health care providers are incentivized to disavow the procedure, we can only expect that maternal mortality rates will rise.

Trump did note that "Ensuring affordable, accessible, and quality healthcare is critical to improving women's health and ensuring that it fits their priorities at any stage of life". The administration has cited the fund's work with the Chinese government, which runs programmes involving coerced abortion and forced sterilisation, as the reason it would fall under the policy. The same would go for any NGO that receives USA funding to maintain its public health initiatives - whether those are related to containing the spread of malaria and tuberculosis, for example, or to providing contraception - if that organization did not formally agree to scrub abortion from its services and sever ties with other providers.

"And in a way, his coming into the movement as an ally seems to have freed him to be able to take a lot of actions that others might have been a little too skittish to take", she said.

In his first few months in office, Trump has repeatedly pushed extremely regressive policies on women's health.

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