Trump expands policy that bans US aid for overseas abortion providers

May 16, 2017 by

by Molly Redden, Guardian:

The Trump administration on Monday significantly expanded a Reagan-era policy banning foreign aid to international healthcare providers who discuss abortion or advocate for abortion rights.

The new terms of the ban will apply to $8.8bn in existing foreign aid provided by the state department, USAid, and the Department of Defense – dwarfing the $60m in programming that fell under the ban during previous administrations.

“Votes in America have international consequences,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the Susan B Anthony List, an anti-abortion political action committee. “The [policy] implemented today is one of the reasons pro-life voters worked to elect Donald Trump to the White House. We have officially ceased exporting abortion to foreign nations.”

US law already bans the use of taxpayer dollars to support abortion services abroad. Every Republican president since Ronald Reagan, however, has gone further, and blocked foreign aid to non-governmental organizations that discuss abortion as part of family planning or advocate for abortion rights, even using non-US funds.

Barack Obama lifted the policy in 2009. Donald Trump signed an executive order reimposing the ban, known as the Mexico City policy, just days into his presidency.

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