Trump reinstates old abortion restrictions cutting off U.S. funding to international groups that offer women’s services

Organizations receiving funding cannot even counsel pregnant women on the option of abortion, or else they risk losing all U.S. funding.

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In one of his first acts as President, Donald Trump signed an executive order that reinstated a federal ban on U.S. funding to international organizations that provide or give patients information about abortion.

The initial ban, sometimes called the Mexico City policy or “global gag rule,” was put into place by President Ronald Reagan in 1984. Since then, every Democratic president has rescinded it, and every Republican president has reinstated it.

Under the current law, the Helms Amendment, groups that receive funding from the United States are not allowed to use those funds to pay for abortions. The global gag rule makes it so that groups that receive funding from the United States are not allowed to provide abortion services period, even using alternative funds.

This means that organizations receiving funding cannot even counsel pregnant women on the option of abortion, or else they risk losing all U.S. funding.

Republicans seem to be ignoring recent studies and reports that show restricting abortion does not actually reduce the abortion rate, and that in some countries where abortion has been banned altogether the rates are actually higher. 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 13% of pregnancy-related fatalities are from unsafe abortions. This translates to about 68,000 women a year.

Senator Jeanne Shaheen of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee plans to move to repeal the global gag rule for good, stating “President Trump’s reinstatement of the Global Gag Rule ignores decades of research, instead favoring ideological politics over women and families.”

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