Trump Reinstates ‘Global Gag Rule’: Family Planning Joins Chorus of Concern for Impact on Women’s Health
Family Planning of South Central New York joins the chorus of concern voiced by women’s health care providers and advocates across the globe after Donald Trump reinstated Monday a sweeping Reagan-era policy that significantly restricts access to vital reproductive health care services for women and families around the world.
Existing law already forbids the use of American money to fund abortion services anywhere. The so-called “Global Gag Rule” prohibits all U.S.-supported international family planning groups from using their own funding to provide safe and legal abortion services, and also denies funding to foreign health care clinics that simply provide information about or referrals for abortion services — risking the health and lives of women worldwide.
“The reinstatement of the ‘global gag rule” means that millions more women around the world will, once again, be unable to access vital basic health care services including safe abortion and birth control,” Debra Marcus, chief executive officer of Family Planning of South Central New York, said.
Marcus noted that the World Health Organization estimates 225 million women in developing nations would like to delay childbearing but many lack access to contraception.
Denying funding for family planning services and birth control means that there will be more clinic closures, more unplanned pregnancies and more unsafe abortions, she said.
The WHO estimates that more than 21 million unsafe abortions are carried out worldwide each year, with more than 18 million of these occur in developing countries.
“Now, health care providers will be forced to choose between receiving critical family planning funding and restricting the services and counseling they provide to women,” Marcus said.
Trump’s executive order this week, however, goes even further than his Republican presidential predecessors: pulling all global health funding from groups that could be seen in violation of the rule — including for programs that tackle malaria, Zika and Ebola.
Earlier this month, more than 130 civil-society organizations — including groups such as the ACLU, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International — issued a joint statement against the reinstatement of the Global Gag Rule.
Marcus said the call apparently fell on the deaf ears of the Trump administration.
“This should be about putting health care, not politics, first,” she said.
For more information on the Mexico City policy, see the Kaiser Family Foundation’s new explainer.
Family Planning of South Central New York provides high quality, affordable family planning, related health care and education in Binghamton, Oneonta, Norwich, Sidney and Walton. All medical care is overseen by a Board Certified Gynecologist. Medical services may be free or on a sliding fee scale. Insurance and Medicaid are welcome. For more information, visit fpscny.org or call 607-723-8306.