Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Trump gags family planning clinics outside US that get US funding

Women's march against Trump
Further confirming the US leap towards a theocracy, the Trump administration has attacked family planning clinics outside the US using it's foreign aid funding as leverage. In short, it will cut funding to those clinics that don't comply.

The "gag" rule as it's called, forbids family planning clinics outside the US that get US foreign aid funding, from speaking about abortion. Originally introduced under Reagan Trump has reinstated it as one of his first acts in the new presidency.

In one of a number of sharp reversals from the Obama era, Donald Trump on Monday signed an executive order banning international NGOs from providing abortion services or offering information about abortions if they receive US funding.

The rule will put thousands of international healthcare workers in the difficult position of deciding whether to continue to offer family planning care that includes abortion at the expense of a critical funding stream. Many international health advocates insist that their efforts are not comprehensive without abortion services. Unsafe abortions are a major cause of maternal mortality and kill tens of thousands of women every year.

The US is the single largest donor to global health efforts, providing nearly $3bn toward health efforts through the United States Agency for International Development (USAid) alone. The state department and groups like the Peace Corps offer additional funding. A spokeswoman for International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) said the group will not abide by the gag rule and stands to lose up to $100m it currently receives from the US. None of that money is used for abortion services. The Guardian
However there is hope for an alternative source of funding. A new international petition is up and running asking for funding for these clinics if the US pulls it.
To the foreign ministers of Norway, Canada and Sweden, and Presidents of the world’s health foundations:

We call on you to work together to create a special fund to be made available to any clinic or NGO around the world that decides to resist the US’s global gag rule, so that they may have the option to continue counseling women about abortion within the constraints of their national laws. sign here