Giving Compass' Take:

• The Trump Administration announced the expansion of the Global Gag Rule, which will cut all support to international NGOs that offer financial assistance to other organizations within the global abortion industry. 

• What is the impact of this policy expansion on global health?  How is the development aid sector responding?

• Here is a report on the effects of the global gag rule. 

The Trump administration announced that it’s taking the Mexico City rule — also known as the “global gag rule” — one degree further and buckling down on existing anti-abortion policies.

“We will continue to refuse to provide assistance to foreign NGOs who perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at a press conference yesterday.

“Now, as a result of my decision,  we are also making clear we will refuse to provide assistance to foreign NGOs that give financial support to other foreign groups in the global abortion industry,” he added.

The Trump administration reinstituted the Mexico City rule, which restricts the use of US foreign aid funds to support abortion services, on his first full day in office — which is not unusual, considering the Reagan-era policy has typically been suspended by Democratic administrations and reinstated by Republican ones.

However, President Trump dramatically expanded the scope of the policy.

Whereas previous administrations applied the global gag rule to the use of family planning funds administered by the State Department and the US Administration for International Development (USAID) — roughly $575 million worth of funding — the Trump administration has applied the rule to all global health assistance funding — about $8.8 billion — since 2017.

The Trump administration also said that NGOs that provided information about abortions or referred patients to other organizations for abortion services would be ineligible for funding, where previous administrations only limited funding to NGOs that actually provided abortion services.

Experts and health advocates decried the move, saying it would hurt women living in poverty around the world the most. Some clinics in already underserved areas have already had to close or cease offering important reproductive and sexual health services, several global health organizations have said.

Read the full article about expanding global gag rule by Daniele Selby at Global Citizen.