Today, President Donald Trump signed an executive order reinstating the Mexico City policy, aka the “global gag rule,” and it will have far-reaching consequences when it comes to reproductive health access for women and families worldwide.
The Mexico City policy, was first put in place by President Ronald Reagan in 1984. This policy prohibits U.S funding for international nongovernmental organizations that offer family planning and reproductive health options if they include abortion as one of there services.
While the U.S. spends about $600 million a year on this type of international assistance none of this money has been spent on performing abortions because of the Helms amendment, which has prevented U.S. tax dollars from funding overseas abortions since 1973.
However, this money has provided crucial aide to 27 million women and couples so that they can access much needed contraceptive services and supplies. A lot of this aide, specifically going toward programs that offer international AIDS and HIV prevention and assistance.
Proponents of the Mexico City policy say that it is still necessary, arguing that Helms isn’t strong enough by itself.
This is one of President Trumps first executive orders since taking office. He has also signed executive orders freezing federal hiring and withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.
White House press photos reveal Trump sitting in the Oval Office, few women, if any were present.
If you would like to learn more about the “Global Gag Rule” policy and how cutting federal funding will negatively affect international women’s aide, read “What’s at Stake for Women: Threat of the Global Gag Rule” by americanprogress.org
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