The Trump global gag rule: an attack on US family planning and global health aid
by Ann M Starrs
Published: 04 February 2017
On Jan 23, 2017, on his fourth day in office, President Donald Trump signed an executive order imposing the global gag rule,1 an anti-abortion policy that under other conservative presidential administrations has caused serious disruptions to US overseas family planning efforts. Alarmingly, Trump's order goes even further than in the past, with potentially devastating effect.
The global gag rule, also known as the Mexico City policy, was devised in 1984 by the administration of Ronald Reagan to impose a draconian set of anti-abortion rules on US overseas family planning programmes.2 This policy banned US family planning funds from going to foreign non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that provide abortion services, counselling, or referrals, or advocate for liberalisation of their country's abortion laws—even if they use non-US government funds for these activities. In 1984, and every time the global gag rule has been imposed since then, foreign governments were exempt for diplomatic reasons, as were US-based NGOs on constitutional grounds.
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Source, The Lancet: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(17)30270-2/fulltext