US expands anti-abortion policies with new overseas funding rules

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WASHINGTON – The Trump administration will withhold funding from foreign non-governmental organizations that donate money to foreign groups that perform abortions, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday.

In an extension of the administration’s anti-abortion policies, Pompeo also said the government is “fully enforcing” a law that prohibits groups from using US aid to lobby on issues of death. abortion.

“We will enforce a strict ban on hijacked funding programs and purposes around our policy,” Pompeo said. “US tax dollars will not be used to secure abortions.”

The move builds on a 2017 announcement by the Trump administration that it reinstated and expanded the so-called Mexico City Politics. The 1984 executive action – and described by critics as the “global gag rule” – is forcing foreign nongovernmental organizations to refuse to perform abortions in return for US funding.

Democratic presidents, including Barack Obama, have issued memoranda over the years repealing the rule, while Republican presidents have reinstated it; it has been in force 19 of the last 34 years.

Conservatives, Catholics and Evangelical Christians who have long promoted anti-abortion policies and are a vital part of Mr. Trump’s electoral base are particularly outspoken on the matter. Mr. Pompeo is an evangelical Christian, as is Vice President Mike Pence.

Politicians who opposed the policy immediately criticized Mr Pompeo’s announcement.

“There is no end to the depths of the Trump administration’s cruelty,” California Democrat President Nancy Pelosi said on Twitter. “Millions of women around the world depend on US-funded health assistance – and millions more will be arbitrarily left without care because of this shameful decision by @SecPompeo.”

Representative Nita M. Lowey, Democrat of New York and Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, helped introduce a bill last month to overturn and ban the 2017 ban imposed by Mr. Trump. Some Republicans also support the proposal.

“Once again, the Trump administration has chosen ideology over sound policy,” Lowey said in a statement. “The announcement this morning by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the global gag rule will be further expanded is another slap in the face for women around the world.”

In his announcement, Pompeo said U.S. officials learned that a group from the Organization of American States has engaged in advocacy for abortion rights. As a result, the State Department will now stipulate in assistance agreements that the diplomatic corps must promise that no US funds will be used to lobby for or against abortion.

The United States would cut funding for the organization as a punishment, Pompeo added.

“The OAS institutions should focus on resolving the crises in Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, and not on promoting the pro-abortion cause,” he said.

There was no immediate response from the organization.

A reporter told Pompeo that many groups working on global health issues argue that the policy leads to more pregnancies among rural women. Researchers have found that funding cuts affect groups that promote the use of contraception and other methods of preventing pregnancy.

“They are simply wrong,” Pompeo said.


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