If a foreign organization wants to continue receiving global health funding via a contract with the U.S. government, the group must agree to not provide or promote abortions, under a new Trump administration proposal.
The Hill reports that the Trump administration is trying to expand its ban on global health aid for any international organizations that provide or promote abortions.
The ban already applies to any to grants and cooperative agreements between the U.S. government and foreign organizations. Under the proposed rule change, released Monday in the Federal Register, the ban would apply the policy to contracts.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, contracts make up about 40% of global health aid.
Opponents to the ban call it a “global gag rule,” according to The Hill.
The policy was established by former President Ronald Reagan in an effort to prevent foreign organizations from accessing U.S. family planning aid if it provided or promoted abortions.
It has been rescinded and then put back in place over the years, depending on what party is in office, according to The Hill.
President Donald Trump reinstated the rule in 2017. He expanded the policy to block any foreign organizations from receiving any type of global health aid, including for HIV and malaria, if they provided or promote abortions.
According to a report issued last month by the State Department, most foreign organizations agreed to the new requirements. But in some countries where grantees opted not to agree to the new rules, the report noted that access to care has been disrupted or delayed.
“The U.S. government is committed to protecting human life before and after birth,” the report stated.
It is already illegal under federal law for the federal government to fund abortions. The new proposal would also withhold any U.S. Health Aid to foreign organizations that provide or promote abortions with funding from other sources.
The proposed rule would expand the policy even more. Some argue it will harm programs that aim to help impoverished nations.
“This is yet another unprecedented expansion of a harmful policy — and amidst a global pandemic,” Planned Parenthood Global tweeted Monday about the proposal.
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