Image from Copyright Isabel Corthier/MSF

The Global Gag Rule, which already forces health providers to choose between providing information to patients or receiving US funding, is now set to be expanded even further by the Trump Administration. This policy cuts US government funds to overseas programs that use non-US funds to provide or discuss safe abortion care, family planning services, HIV care, and all other US-funded global health assistance. The proposed expansion of this rule would cover all contracts and subcontracts funded partially or wholly with US global health assistance. This includes organizations subcontracted by organizations that receive US funding, which are often small, local organizations. Ultimately, this expansion would increase restrictions limiting health care and information to people in need. It would not reduce the number of abortions; according to The Lancet, it instead would lead to more and riskier abortions in poor countries. This would be further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disrupted sexual and reproductive health services.

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