The Mexico City policy, also known as the global gag rule, was first put in place by President Ronald Reagan in 1984.
President Donald Trump has reinstated a rule that bars any worldwide organization that receive USA aid from providing abortions or giving any information about abortion, including medical advice or referrals, Politico reports. The policy, which usually switches whenever a new political party enters the White House, effectively "gags" any organization offering family planning services overseas from providing abortion services, referring for abortion services, or even mentioning abortion services exist, regardless of whether the organization is doing such work or education with their own funding, or even if abortion is completely legal in that foreign country itself.
In 2016, the USA budget allocated $607.5 million in funding for reproductive health around the world, according to the Guttmacher Institute.
The most important characteristic of the Mexico City Policy is that it establishes an eligibility criterion for USA funding: If a group is unwilling to agree to avoid promotion of abortion, that group will not receive any of the designated types of US funding.
President Donald Trump shows the Mexico City order after signing it in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C., January 23, 2017. "Canada can't do it alone - developed nations around the world should be prepared to step up their foreign aid programs to advance women's rights and health around the world". Instead, it indicates that the Trump presidency is not on the side of American values and freedom of speech but only sees reproductive health issues as an easy throw-away to the more extreme elements that backed his presidential campaign. You may have to endanger the life of a woman with an ectopic pregnancy, or turn away the woman whose pregnancy resulted from rape or incest.
Trump's administration has made it repeatedly clear that reproductive rights will be on the chopping block; he notably once said that women who have abortions should receive "some sort of punishment"-a statement he later rethought (or had someone rethink for him)".
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Women's health and rights are now one of the first casualties of the Trump administration.
Spicer said the global gag rule will "end the use of taxpayer dollars to fund abortions overseas, along with coercive abortion and sterilization practices".
Though Trump has had controversial clashes with Mexico over his border wall policy, this executive action actually has nothing to do with Mexico, despite its name.
A 2011 study by Stanford University researchers examining the effect of the global gag rule suggested that "the Mexico City Policy is associated with increases in abortion rates in sub-Saharan African countries" and that "reduced financial support for family planning may have led women to substitute abortion for contraception".
A study from Stanford University in 2011 found the unintended outcome of the Global Gag Rule or Mexico City Policy is to limit the availability of family planning services overall, and in turn contraceptives that could prevent pregnancy, making abortion the only means to prevent unwanted children, according to The Atlantic.
Last week, Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen said she would seek to introduce legislation to ban the gag rule permanently, after successive presidents have revoked and reinstated it.