February 29, 2024

Trump to expand funding ban on abortion

Mexico City policy will cover international health programs as well

US president Donald Trump has announced broader restrictions on funding for foreign aid organisations that assist with the provision of abortions.

In a new “expanded” policy unveiled on Monday, the Trump administration said it would apply the regulations of the controversial Mexico City Policy to “international health programs”, such as “those for HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health, malaria, global health security, and family planning and reproductive health”.

Previously, the Mexico City Policy had only been applied to family planning organisations that focused on contraceptives and maternal health. The policy will now affect approximately US$8.8 billion in funds, though Administration officials said it was too early to determine which international organizations will lose access to funds due a refusal to comply.

The Department of State emphasised the policy “does not reduce the amount of global health assistance the US Government makes available”.

Pro-life lobbyists praised the new policy, saying that it would ensure that foreign aid was “well-spent”. “No longer will we undermine the pro-life laws and cultural commitments of other countries by funding organizations…that obsessively promote and perform abortion”, Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, said in a statement.

Others are concerned that the restrictions will cripple programs such the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), an initiative that has for the past decade helped provide HIV/AIDS counselling, medication, and treatment around the world. 

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