As one of his first acts in office, President Trump has signed an Executive Order that massively expands the already harmful “Global Gag Rule” that bars federal funding of organizations working overseas that advocate for, or refer patients to, abortion services. Trump’s Global Gag Rule will force clinicians to withhold information about legal health services, and violates the trusted relationship between a woman and her healthcare provider—sometimes at the cost of her life.
Robert Walker, President, Population Institute, reacted strongly to the reinstatement and expansion of what is also known as the Global Gag Rule:
“President Trump wasted no time ignoring the millions of women around the world who protested on Saturday. Trump’s Global Gag Rule is a strike against women in developing countries who need access to health services, including contraception and abortion.
Make no mistake about it; evidence shows the Global Gag Rule increases, not decreases, the number of abortions. It will limit access to contraception and result in more unplanned pregnancies. The Global Gag Rule will boost the demand for abortion and increase the number of women who ultimately die from unsafe abortions.
Making matters worse, President Trump’s executive order expands the gag rule to all organizations receiving funds under the category of global health assistance. This expansion could restrict funding for organizations that provide maternal health care, HIV-related services, and women being counseled on Zika risks.
Today’s action, unfortunately, is part of a larger well-planned assault on reproductive health and rights, including attempts to defund Planned Parenthood. As outlined in our latest 50-State Report Card on Reproductive Health and Rights, that assault is taking a toll. Twenty states now receive failing grades. And, as exemplified by this action, the worst is yet to come.
Instituting the Global Gag Rule may be a victory for the insulated right-wing, but it is a devastating defeat for women in developing countries who need access to contraception.”