Trump Administration Announces Expanded Mexico City Policy; Plan Will Impact Most U.S. Global Health Assistance

ABC News: Abortion restrictions expanded for foreign nonprofits receiving U.S. health funds
“The Trump administration is expanding a policy that requires foreign non-governmental organizations to neither perform nor promote abortion as a method of family planning, if they receive U.S. global health assistance funding…” (Finnegan, 5/15).

Associated Press: Trump details anti-abortion ban over U.S. global health aid
“…Senior administration officials said Monday a plan to expand the so-called ‘Mexico City policy’ had gone into effect. The policy would apply broadly to organizations receiving U.S. global health assistance, compared with past versions of the ban which specifically targeted international family planning groups. … Jen Kates, director of global health and HIV policy at the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation, said the policy was a significant expansion compared with past Republican administrations. ‘Right now there’s a lot of unknowns,’ she said. ‘This is a much bigger expansion. And the U.S. role in global health has increased over time. The U.S. footprint right now is quite big in global health’…” (Lucey, 5/16).

CQ Roll Call: Expanded ‘Mexico City Policy’ Unveiled by Trump Administration
“Senior congressional Democrats reacted with dismay Monday to the Trump administration’s announcement it will begin expanding the so-called Mexico City policy from just family planning programs to all U.S. global health assistance, with unknown impacts on billions of dollars in U.S. foreign aid aimed at preventing HIV/AIDS and other diseases…” (Mejdrich/Oswald, 5/15).

Devex: Trump expands ‘global gag rule,’ targeting $8.8B in global health aid
“President Donald Trump’s administration will significantly expand the ‘global gag rule’ to include much of the United States’ global health assistance, placing more than $8.8 billion of funding on the line. The U.S. is rebranding the Reagan-era regulation — which is also called the Mexico City policy — as the ‘Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance’ policy. It previously impacted about $600 million in family planning aid…” (Lieberman, 5/15).

NBC News: Trump Administration Expands Anti-Abortion Foreign Aid Policy
“…The broadened policy referred to as the global gag rule will now affect $8.8 billion in funding for international health programs including those for HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health, malaria, global health security, family planning, and reproductive health. … Governments and multilateral organizations remain outside of the scope of the expanded policy, which also will not apply to humanitarian aid provided through refugee or migration programs or to disaster relief…” (Williams, 5/15).

New York Times: Trump to Expand Funding Ban Tied to Abortion Overseas
“…The rules, issued by the State Department, mean that any foreign nongovernmental group that wants American money for any of its health activities — from AIDS treatment to malaria prevention to safe childbirth practices — must promise not to ‘promote abortion as a method of family planning.’ Already, American taxpayer dollars cannot be used for abortion services abroad…” (Harris/Sengupta, 5/15).

Reuters: Trump administration vastly expands global anti-abortion policy
“…U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has approved a plan to expand the policy’s provisions to funding for HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health, malaria, and other health programs, the State Department said on Monday. That includes about $6 billion in funding for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR … Other programs affected by the expanded policy … include the President’s Malaria Initiative…” (Torbati, 5/16).

STAT: Expanded Mexico City Policy could imperil $8.8 billion in global health funding
“…Administration officials stressed that the amount of global health money distributed by the U.S. would not change … A number of global health advocacy groups immediately decried the expanded restriction, saying it would jeopardize preventive health and treatment efforts that depend on American money to operate…” (Swetlitz/Facher, 5/16).

VICE News: Trump administration to slash $8.8 billion in aid to groups that promote abortion access abroad
“…The largest non-governmental provider of contraception worldwide, the International Planned Parenthood Federation, stands to lose about $100 million in funding. The group announced in January that despite these cuts, it would not abide by Trump’s Mexico City policy…” (Sherman, 5/15).

Wall Street Journal: Trump Dramatically Boosts U.S. Anti-Abortion Policy Abroad
“…The administration officials briefed lawmakers and reporters on the policy directive and said the new approach will begin to take effect gradually in coming months as relevant agencies move to implement the necessary steps and grants come up for renewal. ‘The policy…implements what the president has made very clear: U.S. taxpayer money should not be used to support foreign organizations that perform or actively promote abortions as a method of family planning in other nations,’ a senior administration official said…” (Schwartz, 5/15).

Washington Post: Trump expansion of abortion ‘gag rule’ will restrict $8.8 billion in U.S. aid
“…On Monday, both supporters and critics of the policy came out in full force. Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, which supports politicians who oppose abortion, characterized the policy’s expansion as a way of modernizing it. ‘This executive order does not cut a single penny from U.S. aid, rather it simply ensures our hard-earned tax dollars are used by other health care entities that act consistently to save lives, rather than promoting and performing abortion. Abortion is not health care,’ she said in a statement. Democratic Reps. Nita M. Lowey, Eliot L. Engel, and Louise M. Slaughter of New York, and Barbara Lee of California marked the rule’s start by calling it ‘a cruel and unprecedented attack on the world’s most vulnerable women.’ They argued that it undermines U.S. ‘moral leadership abroad’ and could end access to critical health care programs” (Cha/Morello, 5/15).

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.

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