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”.
This policy is sure to tragically increase, worldwide, the number of:
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
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.
Stay Up-to-Date on Reproductive Health Worldwide
Follow @PPGlobe on Twitter to get the latest on issues affecting sexual and reproductive health worldwide. Planned Parenthood Global supports more than 100 partners across Africa and Latin America to expand sexual and reproductive rights.