No more than 48 hours after the historical Women’s March on Washington, President Trump announced his administration is reinstating the “Mexico City Policy” aka the global gag rule.
Trump’s Global Gag Rule means that international nongovernmental organizations receiving U.S. family planning funding cannot include abortion information or services in their clinics. Many of these international NGOs used the family planning money to educate their governments on safe abortion options, provide legal abortion services and/or provide advice on where to get an abortion.
This policy was introduced by President Ronald Reagan in 1984, yet Bill Clinton repealed it immediately after taking office. The policy was then reinstated during the presidency of George W. Bush. The policy was most recently repealed by President Barack Obama.
Many statistics show that the gag rule policy restricts women’s rights to make their own decisions when it comes to family planning. Additionally, it has been shown that the policy does not reduce abortions. In fact, it causes a rise in both unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortion practices.
When George W. Bush reinstated the rule, Sub-Saharan Africa saw a rise in abortions because it limited women’s access to contraception.
With the Global Gag Rule in place, foreign NGOs are forced to choose between one of two options:
Accept U.S. family planning funds and be prohibited from providing abortion information and services or refuse U.S. family planning funds and secure alternative funding to keep their clinics open.
(Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)