Trump Administration’s Women’s Empowerment Efforts Undermined By Expansion Of Mexico City Policy, Opinion Piece Says
The Hill: Our First Amendment rights are under assault with the global gag rule
Jonathan Cohen, director of the Public Health Program at Open Society Foundations, and Kavita N. Ramdas, director of the Women’s Rights Program at Open Society Foundations
“On Wednesday, White House adviser Ivanka Trump announced she is planning a trip to Africa to promote a global women’s initiative she is leading. … As Ivanka embarks on her plan to help support women in Africa, the Trump administration is simultaneously dismantling women’s health and rights in the very same countries Ivanka will be visiting. Just last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took steps to dramatically expand the implementation of the Global Gag Rule [otherwise known as the Mexico City policy] — a policy that prohibits foreign nongovernmental organizations who receive U.S. federal aid [for global health] from performing or providing information on abortion. … The new move goes beyond any previous interpretation by other administrations, restricting ‘gagged’ organizations from funding groups that provide abortion services and information, even though those organizations don’t get any U.S. aid. It’s not only an outrageous overreach of an onerous policy that forces organizations to either stay true to their mission and turn down funding from the U.S. government, or comply with a policy that compromises their mandate — it underscores the antithetical programs coming out of Trump’s White House in the guise of women’s empowerment and advancing prosperity for marginalized communities. … Research shows that without access to basic reproductive health care, women can’t thrive economically. … As a funder that champions open democratic values and human rights, [Open Society Foundations] will not be gagged, nor will we stand by as the vibrant movements we support are attacked…” (4/7).