Mexico City Policy Harming Access To Health Care In Developing Countries, CHANGE Report Says

ABC News: Trump’s ‘global gag rule’ cutting off health care in Africa: Report
“The Trump administration’s abortion policy on foreign aid [for global health] is having a devastating effect in local communities that require medical assistance, according to a new report. Investigators from the Center for Health and Gender Equity, or CHANGE, issued a report Tuesday on what’s known as the ‘Mexico City policy’ or the ‘global gag rule’ — what the Trump administration calls ‘Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance.’ … Trump’s policy is an expansion of past Republican presidents in that it now affects all global health funds … for groups that do family planning, reproductive health, and maternal and child health care, but also those that target HIV/AIDS, infectious diseases, malaria, nutrition, tuberculosis, and more. … The report demonstrates that the new restrictions have led to cutbacks for groups on the ground, many of whom are reliant on U.S. funding…” (Finnegan, 6/6).

Devex: An atmosphere of fear under ‘global gag rule’ shows comprehensive new report
“…Under the expanded version of the ‘global gag rule’ introduced by United States President Donald Trump soon after his inauguration in January 2017, foreign NGOs that receive any U.S. global health assistance are prohibited from performing or promoting ‘abortion as a method of family planning.’ That includes offering legal advice or counseling related to abortion. … The CHANGE report released Tuesday at an event in Washington, D.C., is titled ‘Prescribing Chaos in Global Health,’ and outlines a history of impacts of the ‘global gag rule’ and some of the adverse effects seen since Trump reinstated the policy — including for some countries a clash between local law and the gag rule, and in some cases, a lack of ability to work with the best partners. The paper is the latest in a string of reports from different organizations tracking the policy’s impacts. The U.S. government is also conducting reviews, the first of which, a six-month review, was released in February…” (Saldinger/Cornish, 6/6).

Rewire.News: Report: Trump’s Global Gag Rule ‘Downright Catastrophic for Global Health’
“… ‘When the GGR is in effect, it creates and exploits inefficiencies in health care delivery and causes harm to beneficiaries, who may not be aware that their fate is being determined by what is essentially a political football in Washington, D.C.,’ the report’s authors concluded. … The report predicts that the expanded policy will not reduce abortions but only increase the stigma of abortion and the number of unsafe illegal abortions. … CHANGE spoke to officials from government agencies and NGOs who worry that ‘the chaos that has accompanied each iteration of the GGR has now been magnified by Trump’s expanded version.’ As CHANGE discovered, the expanded gag rule has created confusion for both NGOs attempting to comply with the policy and for the government officials tasked with implementing it…” (Wilson, 6/5).

U.S. News & World Report: Report Slams Trump’s Abortion ‘Gag Rule’
“…The policy … is having wide-reaching effects, including shutting down funding to some nongovernmental organizations that served as the sole source of health care in developing countries hard-hit by sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancies, according to the report … ‘The untenable choice foreign NGOs face — either to stop conducting abortion-related work or lose their U.S. funding — is only the beginning of the GGR’s far-reaching impacts,’ according to the report. ‘Both paths lead to actual cuts to health services and information, often resulting in irreparable damage for people and entire communities’… Subsequent confusion regarding which organizations are subject to the ban has prompted some ‘to over-interpret it for fear of being found non-compliant,’ according to the report…” (Shinkman, 6/5).

The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.

KFF Headquarters: 185 Berry St., Suite 2000, San Francisco, CA 94107 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270 | Email Alerts: | |

The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.