Trump Administration Dramatically Expands Global Gag Rule on Abortion

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced today that the Trump administration is expanding its global gag rule on abortion. Instead of merely banning funds for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that “perform or actively promote” abortion, Pompeo said, the government will now “refuse to provide assistance to foreign NGOs that give financial support to other foreign groups” that provide abortion—or, as he put it, groups in the “global abortion industry.”

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One of Trump’s first acts as president was to reinstate the global gag rule, which was first introduced by Reagan. That rule alone, even before this dramatic expansion, has wide-ranging effects on health in impoverished countries; an article in the Nation yesterday noted that it is “linked to an ongoing erosion of HIV/AIDS-related public-health aid in the Global South,” and affects almost $9 billion in U.S. funding annually.

This is part of a larger effort on behalf of the administration. Just last month, the administration announced a domestic version of the gag rule, preventing any organization that takes Title X funds from issuing referrals for abortion and requiring them to establish separate facilities for abortions if they provide them, which according to the Los Angeles Times could mean “separate treating and waiting rooms, personnel, office entrances, phone numbers, and websites.”

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Apparently, it doesn’t matter that federal funding for abortion is already illegal, thanks to the Hyde Amendment. (Twenty-one states have filed lawsuits seeking to block the domestic rule from taking effect.)

A party that is so concerned that single-payer would interfere with the relationship between doctor and patient is perfectly happy to ban doctors from even explaining what abortion is, lest they lose their federal funding. The GOP is a psychotic party with deranged goals and no shame, and it must be destroyed.

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Libby Watson

Splinter politics writer. libby.watson@splinternews.com