The Global Gag Rule Is Harming Women Around The World — EXCLUSIVE
By Nancy Northup & Anu Kumar
Feb 19, 2018
Jan. 23 marks one year since President Donald Trump reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy, which bans overseas organizations that receive U.S. funding from using their own money to provide abortion information, referrals, or to advocate for law reform. The policy, also known as the Global Gag Rule, not only harms women and girls around the world, it disproportionately impacts countries home to mainly people of color. It embodies the “America First” ideological imperialism and reliance on strong-arm coercion that have shaped and defined this administration’s first year.
Every Republican president since Ronald Reagan has implemented the gag rule, using foreign policy to bully countries on abortion for decades. Since 1973, global health organizations have been working under the Helms Amendment, an egregious policy that bans any U.S. foreign aid funds from being used for abortion services. This policy remains in effect, and the gag rule bolsters it. Despite the Helms Amendment, in recent years the global community has made progress in expanding access to reproductive health care, particularly safe abortion.