In his first week in office, President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order that reinstated President Ronald Reagan’s anti-choice Global Gag Rule, a policy that restricts women’s health care.
Also known as the Mexico City Policy after it was announced in that city in 1984, the rule prohibits the U.S. government from providing funding to international health organizations that discuss abortion as a family planning option or provide abortion as a service.
But the wide-reaching rule threatens $9 billion in global health funding, not just abortion access or information. It affects organizations that receive funding to conduct infectious diseases research, HIV prevention, contraception access and more.
Americans United and more than 130 other advocacy organizations signed a coalition statement in January opposing this measure, arguing that it limits free speech and women’s rights.
“U.S. foreign aid should never be used as a tool to limit women’s access to health care or to censor free speech,” the statement read. “Organizations should not be disqualified from receiving U.S. assistance because they use their own funds to provide health services and information that are legal in their home country and legal in the U.S.”