Just a day after more than a million women gathered worldwide to protest the new president, Trump signed an executive order that bans federal funding for international health organizations that perform abortions—or even provide information about them—in their family planning services.
This policy is known as the Mexico City Policy or the Global Gag Rule and it was first implemented by President Ronald Reagan in 1984. It was revoked by President Bill Clinton in the 1990s, reinstated by President George W. Bush in the early 2000s, and once again rescinded by President Barack Obama when he took office in 2009. Now, as of today, it’s back on.
The Guttmacher Institute reports that the United States spends over $600 million each year to fund family planning initiatives around the world. It is estimated that 27 million women and couples have received contraceptive services, and 6 million unplanned pregnancies have been prevented! The funding has also stopped 2.3 million induced abortions, with as many as 2 million of those being unsafe and has saved the lives of at least 11,000 women worldwide.
“The Trump administration and Republican leadership have made no secret of their dangerous obsession with rolling back reproductive rights,” said Senator Jeanne Shaheen on Monday. “President Trump’s reinstatement of the Global Gag Rule ignores decades of research, instead favoring ideological politics over women and families. We know that when family planning services and contraceptives are easily accessible, there are fewer unplanned pregnancies, maternal deaths, and abortions.”
“When women have control over their reproductive health, it improves the long-term health of mothers and children and creates a lasting economic benefit,” she added. “I will continue to stand up to President Trump and Republican leadership in Congress who are intent on rolling back women’s access to reproductive health care, and will introduce bipartisan legislation to repeal the Global Gag Rule for good.”