The global gag rule does nothing to protect life

The global gag rule does nothing to protect life
By Margaret Huang and Serra Sippel, opinion contributors

Nine years ago, the U.S. rescinded a cruel policy that denied life-saving health-care to thousands of people around the world. By repealing the Mexico City Policy (also known as the “global gag rule”), we paved the way for reproductive healthcare providers to access funds that had been withheld from them for years. With those dollars, providers gave their clients desperately needed care for themselves and their families — services that included contraceptives, maternal care, and HIV/AIDS prevention.

There was one thing that providers still could not do. By law since 1973, no organization or health care provider is allowed to use U.S. federal funds to pay for abortions as a method of family planning overseas. That’s not ideal, but with the gag rule rescinded, organizations that did provide abortions could still seek alternate funding for those services while using U.S. aid to provide other care to clients.