Trump Took Republicans' Usual Anti-Abortion Policy And Expanded It
Trump Took Republicans' Usual Anti-Abortion Policy And Expanded It
BRODY FILE EXCLUSIVE: Trump Administration to Significantly Expand Pro-Life Mexico City Policy
17 May, 2017, 01:39
Days after he took office President Trump announced the return of the Mexico City Policy which prevents US foreign aid from going to groups that promote abortion.
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"This policy is sure to tragically increase the number of unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions and women dying from pregnancy-related complications around the world".
As President Trump took office in January, he re-implemented the "Mexico City Policy", which bars use of taxpayer funds to promote or perform abortions overseas.
Of the 64 countries the United States provides with global health assistance, 37 have legalized some form of abortion which groups would not be able to perform were they to sign on to the Mexico City Policy, according to research from the Kaiser Institute.
The biggest additional programs that would now be required to follow the new policy are the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which provides access to prevention, care, and treatment to combat HIV/AIDS, as well as the President's Malaria Initiative - two worldwide health programs started under the George W. Bush administration. Now, it's much more expansive as the Trump administration applies the policy to a much wider pool of money ($8.8 billion) within federal agency programs and includes Department of Defense programs as well.
Before, the rule applied to about $600 million in family planning money.
"Secretary Tillerson has approved a plan to implement the manner in which U.S. Government Departments and Agencies will apply the provisions of the "Mexico City Policy" to foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that receive U.S. funding for global health assistance".
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"Today, the Trump administration confirmed our worst fears regarding this new, drastically expanded global gag executive order", Shaheen said in a statement.
Under previous Republican administrations, the restrictions in the Mexico City Policy applied specifically to USA family planning funds, approximately U.S.$575 million. The change also doesn't decrease the total funding for global health assistance, according to a State Department official. 'The policy...implements what the president has made very clear: "USA taxpayer money should not be used to support foreign organizations that perform or actively promote abortions as a method of family planning in other nations, ' a senior administration official said..." An organization must "agree in writing" that they will follow this policy in order to receive funds.
The Gag Rule, or Mexico City Policy is re-instated by every Republican president.
"The big concern that people have about USA taxpayer money funding abortions is in and of itself such a fallacy that it's really hard to understand why they feel the need to go so much further than addressing that specific issue", said Dr. Caitlin Bernard, a fellow with Physicians for Reproductive Health and at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Washington University in St. Louis.
But critics argue in poor countries, there are not many health care providers. "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".
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 US aid around the world.
When the GRG last went into effect in 2001, according to the Center for American Progress, contraception donations from the USA shuddered to an abrupt halt, leaving 20 developing countries without the resources on which they relied. "Trump continues his habit of saying one thing and doing the exact opposite by kicking off Women's Health Week by expanding this grotesque and inhumane policy".
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