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Mexico City Policy Threatens ‘Global Health Aid Writ Large’

The Lancet: The Trump global gag rule: an attack on U.S. family planning and global health aid
Ann M. Starrs, president and CEO of the Guttmacher Institute

“…Under [U.S. President] Trump’s [executive order reinstating the Mexico City policy], the gag rule now applies not only to U.S. bilateral family planning assistance … but also to all ‘global health assistance furnished by all departments or agencies’ … Foreign NGOs that receive U.S. funding to work on a broad range of health programs in about 60 low-income and middle-income countries — including on HIV/AIDS, the Zika virus, malaria, tuberculosis, nutrition, and maternal and child health, among others — will potentially be subject to the same ideological restrictions that have hampered family planning aid at points in the past. Thus, President Trump’s version of the global gag rule represents a wider attack on global health aid writ large. … [T]he U.S. is the largest funder of global health programs worldwide, and the disruption this aid effort will suffer is massive. … It is becoming clearer with each Trump executive order that not only reproductive health but also global health programs and overall foreign assistance supported by the U.S. government are in grave jeopardy, as indicated by President Trump’s repeated promises to ‘put America first.’ The social conservatives driving this agenda — who now control the U.S. presidency and both houses of Congress — are showing complete disregard for the millions of women, men, and children who will suffer the consequences, intended or not, of these regressive policies” (2/4).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.