'Unethical, Dangerous, and Unacceptable': Trump-Pence Regime Broadens Attack on Women Across the Globe
Healthcare providers and human rights advocates sounded alarm after the Trump administration announced Tuesday moves to attack reproductive and healthcare rights including a further expansion of the global gag rule, which blocks U.S. aid funding to groups that facilitate or work on abortions.
“This is unethical, dangerous, and unacceptable,” said Dr. Leana Wen, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
Speaking to the press Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced “further refinements” to the rule. Known formally as the Mexico City Policy, President Donald Trump—flanked by anti-choice Vice President Mike Pence—reimposed the rule in expanded form in 2017. The 1984 rule was struck down by executive order by former President Barack Obama in 2009.
“The global gag rule is already robbing women of their agency and it is already costing them their lives. The further extension of this policy will only make things worse.” —Shannon Kowalski, IWHC
The rule’s reimposition has already threatened communities’ access to healthcare across the world. U.S. global health funds to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that provide or even just refer or counsel about abortion care with their own funding sources are banned under the rule, thus starving the NGOs of funds needed for critical health services including vaccinations, nutrition, and child health programs. With its newest iteration of the rule, the Trump administration prevents those funds from going to NGOs that in turn help other NGOs providing those services.
In a second of one-two punches the administration delivered to women’s rights, CNN reported that “Pompeo said that the U.S. would also reduce funding for the Organization of American States [OAS], saying that an arm of the international organization had conducted abortion-related advocacy.”
Women’s advocates say the impacts have already been disastrous and deadly—and are poised to get worse.
“Two years into the sweeping expansion of the global gag rule, there are countless examples around the world of patients losing access to healthcare, especially in places where maternal deaths, HIV rates, and unmet need for contraception are unacceptably high,” said Wen.
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