Rss@dailykos.com (meteor Blades) · Tuesday, May 16, 2017, 5:48 pm
As a follow-up to one of the first executive orders issued by Pr*sident Donald Trump back in January, the State Department made it crystal clear in rules it announced Monday that it’s not just the health and lives of American women that the Trump regime is willing to sacrifice, but that of women across the whole planet.
Adopting the decades-old Republican approach of deceptively naming programs and legislation, this one is called “Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance.”
Critics, however, have long called it the global “gag rule.” First imposed in 1984 President Ronald Reagan and alternatively known as the Mexico City Policy, the gag rule prohibits funding for any non-governmental organizations that “perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations.” Merely mentioning abortion is forbidden. Since ‘84, Republican presidents have imposed or reimposed the rule, and Democratic ones have rescinded it.
The latest version of this aggressive indifference to women found in the hard-line parameters the State Department issued makes concrete what critics only feared might be the case as soon as Trump restored the gag rule. The new rule will affect a lot more NGOs and have impacts well beyond reproductive health.
Previously, starting with Reagan, the prohibition of family planning and reproductive health assistance to non-governmental groups performing or promoting abortion only applied to money from USAID and, after 2003, the State Department. But Trump’s executive order in January extended the prohibition to all government agencies and departments, a huge expansion, but one that still left some room for speculation about just how far-reaching the new gag rule would be. Now we know. State’s rules provide the details.
One example of how the new gag rule is different: The Trump version allows for no exceptions. Under President George W. Bush, at least, HIV/AIDS programs were specifically exempted.
Make no mistake. This policy will kill women. It will ruin other women’s lives.
We know this for certain because studies have shown previous iterations of the rule were shown by studies to have barred millions of girls and women from access to birth control measures, safe abortions, pre-natal and maternal care.