NEWS: Trump makes early move on restricting abortions around the world

Trump makes early move on restricting abortions around the world

By Ellen Wulfhorst, Reuters, January 23, 2017

NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday reinstated a global gag rule that bans U.S.-funded groups around the world from
discussing abortion, a move that was widely expected but nonetheless dismayed women’s rights advocates.

The rule, which affects American non-governmental organizations working abroad, is one that incoming presidents have used to signal their positions on abortion
rights. It was created under U.S. President Ronald Reagan in 1984.

Trump, an abortion opponent, signed the reinstatement directive at a ceremony in the White House on his fourth day in office. Former President Barack Obama
had lifted the gag rule in 2009 when he took office.

“Women’s health and rights are now one of the first casualties of the Trump administration,” said Serra Sippel, president of the Center for Health and Gender
Equity in Washington.

“The global gag rule has been associated with an increase in unsafe abortions and we expect that Trump’s global gag rule will cost women their lives,” she said.

Reinstatement of the gag rule, formally the Mexico City policy, comes just two days after crowds of people marched in cities around the world in a show of unity
for women’s rights, among them abortion access.