Trump to expand anti-abortion policy

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The Global Gag Rule is a Reagan-era policy that prohibits any USA funding for worldwide family planning assistance from going to organizations that provides abortions, or even mention abortion as an option to their patients.

'On a myriad of issues, Donald Trump hasn't disappointed evangelicals since he's taken office, ' Brody added.

Also not covered under the new policy are referrals for abortion in cases of "rape, incest, or endangerment of the life of the woman", one of the official said.

This change in policy makes good on that order, as well as Trump's promise that no taxpayer will be used to support organizations that promote or provide abortions, according to a State Department official.

After Trump signed the rule into law in January, other countries around the world swooped in to fill what they anticipated would be a $600-million funding gap in global family planning.

But as the White House official confirmed, Trump's "Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance" policy will not only exclude HIV/AIDS prevention programs, it will apply to all global health organizations-many of which provide crucial preventative services and treatments for diseases like HIV/AIDS, malaria, and the Zika virus.

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Under the newly expanded plan approved by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, however, it will cover all foreign health assistance that is appropriated to the State Department, USAID and the Defense Department, amounting to around $8.8 billion, the officials said Monday.

According to a report by the Independent, the US State Department has announced a programme, called Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance, which will get Dollars 8.8 billion to fund non-governmental organisations around the world that comply with the "global gag" rule. While hardly unexpected, the more expansive scope of the Trump administration's Mexico City Policy has dismayed NGOs who stand to lose a significant chunk of their funding - which they say will have a devastating impact. He expanded it to include not just family planning assistance but all USA global health funding-an unprecedented move that swept up many other critical programs in addition to family planning, including those that address HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health, and Zika response. The new policy will also not affect emergency disaster relief funds.

"This policy is sure to tragically increase the number of unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions and women dying from pregnancy-related complications around the world", said Latanya Mapp Frett, executive director of Planned Parenthood Global. Even when the Mexico City policy is not in place, federal law prevents the use of United States funding for abortions overseas. Until now, the GRG barred foreign, nongovernmental organizations that received family planning money from the US from offering or even mentioning abortion services, even if the NGOs used their own money to pay for those services.

"Despite the Trump administration's ludicrous rebranding of the policy, the Global Gag Rule is unmistakably deadlier than ever", PAI president and CEO Suzanne Ehlers said in a statement. And the US role in global health has increased over time.

"Whether through willful ignorance or an utter disregard for the lives of the world's most vulnerable women, the Trump administration continues to trample on progress without even the semblance of strategy", Dawn Laguens, Planned Parenthood Executive Vice President said in a statement Monday.

"And in a way, his coming into the movement as an ally seems to have freed him to be able to take a lot of actions that others might have been a little too skittish to take", she said. He said "we recognize the importance of providing women access to the best, evidence-based health information and care, and growing our medical knowledge through basic and applied research support".

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