The administration announced on Monday that not only are they rebranding the measure-from here on out, it will be known as the "Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance" policy-but they will also expand the program to allocate $8.8 billion in foreign aid to distribute to non-profit organizations that comply with the strict anti-abortion guidelines.
On May 14th, President Donald Trump issued a statement in honor of National Women's Health Week, pledging to "recognize the importance of providing women access to the best, evidence-based health information and care".
This change in policy makes good on that order, as well as Trump's promise that no taxpayer will be used to support organizations that promote or provide abortions, according to a State Department official. "Withholding U.S. aid as a tool to limit anyone's access to health is simply un-American and stands in direct opposition to our country's role as a global leader for democracy and human rights.This is another reckless move by the Trump Administration created to cynically please his extremist base without regard for consequences".
About $8.8 billion in funding could be impacted, far more than the $600,000 covered under the previous version of the ban.
CBN adds that the "nearly $9 billion in global health assistance funds will be appropriated to the Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Department of Defense".
PAI, a global advocate for contraceptive and reproductive health, said the new restrictions would "broaden the reach of the policy's already deadly effects, including increasing unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions, and maternal and child mortality".
The policy applied previously only "to family planning assistance provided by USAID and the Department of State".
Trump also expanded the policy by directing his incoming secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, to apply the ban to a larger range of global aid programs.
It's up to the legions of civil servants who work for the State Department to enforce the policy, however, and they can have some leverage as to how aggressively it's enforced, said Duff Gillespie, a professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, during a February panel discussion at his university.
"The laws already existing have already made that impossible", she said, referring to the 1973 Helms Amendment, which prohibits USA funding for abortions overseas. Through grants, contracts, subcontracts or even office or hospital sharing arrangements pretty much every health care provider in some of the poorest places on the planet will be affected by this rule.
Supporters say the law doesn't actually reduce the amount of financial aid going out, it just prevents it from going to organizations that promote abortions.
The Mexico City Policy or "global gag rule", first implemented in 1984, is usually revoked by Democratic presidents and reinstated by Republicans - with the exception of one year during former President Bill Clinton's second term when it remained in force by Congressional action.
Congressman Trent Franks of Arizona told CP that he believes the 45th U.S. President has the "potential to be the Abraham Lincoln of the unborn".
While this might be seen as a win for the GOP and evangelical Trump supporters who are interesting in eliminating abortion, it is a terrifying step for USA aid around the world.
'Abortion is not health care, ' she said. This executive order does not cut a single penny from USA aid, rather it simply ensures our hard-earned tax dollars are used by other health care entities that act consistently to save lives, rather than promoting and performing abortion. "Trump continues his habit of saying one thing and doing the exact opposite by kicking off Women's Health Week by expanding this grotesque and inhumane policy".