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Just one day after Mother’s Day and on the first day of National Women’s Health week, the Trump-Pence administration released guidelines on how to carry out an expanded version of the Global Gag Rule — dangerous policy that will endanger the health of millions of women and girls in developing countries — under the misleading name “Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance”.

The guidelines show how the expanded global gag rule — a U.S. foreign assistance policy already unprecedented in its deadly scope — should be implemented.

This policy is sure to tragically increase, worldwide, the number of:

  • Unintended pregnancies,

  • Unsafe abortions,

  • Women dying from pregnancy-related complications, and

  • Infant and child deaths.

We know this because we saw it under previous versions of the policy — and this rule goes even further.

 

Background to the Global Gag Rule

What is
the Global
Gag Rule?

 

In January, Trump signed into law the expanded global gag rule. This expanded version targets international organizations that work on any U.S.-funded global health program, including HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, maternal and child health, and Zika programs.

As of today, these groups will be banned from all global health funding from the U.S. government if they also happen to provide counseling, referrals, or services for safe and legal abortion, or if they advocate in any way for safe and legal abortion — even with their own funding.

Previously, when in effect, this policy only applied to U.S. international family planning assistance.

Today, it implicates 15 times more funding and the lives of millions of women and their families.

 

The Hypocrisy of this Health Policy

Whether through willful ignorance or an utter disregard for the lives of the world’s most vulnerable women, the Trump administration continues to trample on progress without even the semblance of strategy.

There is a sickening irony to the rebranding of this policy as “protecting life” when we’ve seen time and again how the global gag rule has harmed women and increased maternal mortality. This deeply unpopular policy only serves to deny women and families lifesaving health care. In short, Trump’s global gag rule endangers the lives of mothers and hurts families, and it undermines America’s moral authority on the world stage.


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Tags: Global, Abortion, Global Gag Rule

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