U.S. law already prohibits the use of taxpayer dollars to actually fund abortions overseas, according to NPR.
The order is known by critics as a ‘global gag rule’ on abortion and first emerged under President Ronald Regan in 1984. It prevents the U.S. government from funding non-governmental organizations (NGOs) who might offer abortion counseling services, according to the New York Times.
However, U.S. law already prohibits the use of taxpayer dollars to actually fund abortions overseas, according to NPR. The reinstated order takes it a step further by essentially barring foreign aid health organizations from even helping women in impoverished countries who are seeking abortions.
According to the World Health Organization, 21.6 million women across the globe currently have unsafe abortions every year and 47,000 women die from unsafe abortion procedures. And per the New York Times, some research has even shown that the overall number of global abortions has increased when the gag rule has been in action, because affected clinics that also provide contraceptive services have to close due to lack of funding.
It’s important to note that this executive action doesn’t actually affect your ability to seek an abortion or abortion counseling here at home—the Mexico City Policy is limited to foreign aid. But its reinstatement does send a pretty clear signal about the White House’s position on abortion rights.
Despite the buzz over the newly reinstated order, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen it happen. Since the Mexico City policy was minted in 1984, every Republican president has enforced it and every Democratic president has repealed it.
"President Trump is continuing Ronald Regan's legacy by taking immediate action on day one to stop the promotion of abortion through our tax dollars overseas," said Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List, in a statement according to US News and World Report.
However, pro-abortion rights group NARAL condemned the move as "repressing women," in a statement on Twitter.
What do you think?