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Monday, January 23, 2017

Trump presidency: punish women

- Trump just reinstated the global gag rule. It won't stop abortion, but it will make it less safe. ... Thousands of women will die across the world, and millions will lose access to both safe abortion and birth control.

- Trump Strikes at Abortion With a Revived Foreign-Aid Rule ... On Monday, just days after hundreds of thousands of women marched on Washington, as well as in hundreds of cities around the nation and the world, to call for, among other issues, the protection of women’s reproductive rights, President Donald Trump signed off on the first anti-abortion policy of his term .... a rule that prohibits foreign organizations that receive U.S. family-planning funds “from providing counseling or referrals for abortion or advocating for access to abortion services in their country.”

- Trump Reinstates the Anti-Abortion “Global Gag Rule” That Has Been a Public Health Disaster ... On his first full workday in office, President Donald Trump got straight to work making women’s lives unnecessarily difficult .... To be clear, the gag rule goes much further than preventing U.S. taxpayer dollars from directly paying for abortions, which is already illegal under the 1973 Helms amendment. Under the gag rule, even NGOs that wish to use their own funds to pay for abortion care and information, while using U.S. grants to support programs that have absolutely nothing to do with abortion, are barred from receiving federal funding. Hypothetically, health care providers are allowed to talk to patients about abortion in the event of rape, incest, or life-threatening complications, but it’s unclear exactly how such exceptions would work once a compliant NGO has eradicated all abortion-related resources from its programming.

Ironically, the gag rule has been shown to increase abortion rates—particularly unsafe abortion rates—in areas that depend heavily on NGOs to provide needed reproductive health care. Clinics often have to close or consolidate when they lose U.S. funding, and the U.S. Agency for International Development is barred from communicating with and sharing resources with clinics that don’t comply with the rule. As a result, women lose access to needed contraception. A 2011 study found that enforcement of the gag rule by the George W. Bush administration led to an increase in abortion rates in sub-Saharan Africa, likely because of lost contraception access. In Ethiopia, where unsafe abortion is the second-leading cause of death after HIV-AIDS, the George W. Bush administration’s enforcement of the gag rule “hampered Ethiopia’s efforts to address high rates of unsafe abortion,” according to a 2010 study.

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