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US Senate Panel Votes to Reverse Mexico City Policy, Signaling Support for Global Family-Planning

Lev Facher and Ike Swetlitz - STAT
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September 8, 2017
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Trump's Global Gag Rule Puts Women's Lives at Risk (HumanRightsWatch)

Update: Pope Francis Questions Trump's Pro-Life Values Over Decision to End DACA (National Catholic Reporter)

In a move likely to prove only symbolic, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted on Thursday to overturn the Mexico City Policy, which President Trump announced in January he would reinstate and which the State Department formalized in May.

The policy, put in place by Republican presidents and nullified by Democratic ones for three decades, prevents federal family planning assistance from reaching foreign nongovernmental organizations that promote or provide abortions. The policy as announced by the State Department in the spring went a step further by prohibiting any global health assistance from going to these foreign NGOs.

The committee voted 16-14 on Thursday to support an amendment to the State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs budget that would overturn the policy. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), who offered the amendment, introduced legislation with the same intent in January, days after President Trump announced he would reinstate the ban.



“The global gag rule is a dangerous and ill-conceived policy that blocks millions of women and their families from receiving critical aid and assistance,” Shaheen said in a statement. “My amendment will preserve and restore funding levels for international organizations that help to prevent over fifty million unintended pregnancies around the world, and reduce the number of maternal deaths we see from those accessing unsafe abortions when the lack of family planning leaves them without options.”

STAT reported in May that the foreign aid funding impacted by the restriction could total $8.8 billion, of which $6 billion goes to the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

Read the rest at STAT

Related: Bill Gates: Charitable Organizations Won't Be Able to Soften Trump Aid Cuts (Independent)

Related: Abortion Rights in Cuba Face New Challenges (Havana Times)


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