Donald Trump has reinstated the 'global gag rule' which will ultimately compromise women's worldwide access to safe abortions
President Donald Trump, wasting no time in making his first anti-choice move against women’s reproductive rights, has officially reinstated the ‘global gag rule’; a policy that prevents worldwide organisations receiving US funding if they ‘provide’ or promote abortion as a reproductive option.
Basically, any foreign organisation that receives a portion of family planning money from the US government, can’t use any of their outside funding on abortion-related practices. This restriction not only includes the actual procedure (even in countries where abortion is legal), but access to important services such as medical advice and counselling.
The gag rule — established by President Ronald Reagan in 1984 — also outlaws medical experts worldwide from advocating abortion rights, and discussing the devastating effects of unsafe and illegal abortion practices.
Ironically, Trump actioned this executive order just a day after the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalised abortion across the US.
Unsurprisingly, opponents and pro-choice advocates have wasted no time in making their feelings known via social media. Feelings have been further heightened by the overwhelming success of the Women’s March over the weekend, where women across the globe walked in solidarity for their equal rights, and essentially, against a new administration that now threatens their reproductive rights also.
Actress Scarlett Johansson took the podium on Saturday’s Women’s March on Washington, speaking in support of Planned Parenthood – a nonprofit organization that provides reproductive health services both in the United States and globally.
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‘Support my daughter,’ Scarlett appealed to Donald Trump, ‘who may actually — as a result of the appointments you have made — grow up in a country that is moving backwards, not forwards, and who potentially may not have the right to make choices for her body and her future that your daughter Ivanka has been privileged to have.’
‘No judgement, no questions asked, Planned Parenthood provided a safe place where I could be treated with gentle guidance,’ she said. ‘Now, I may have been 15 and surprisingly self-sufficient, but I bet there isn’t one person here who has not been helped by Planned Parenthood, directly or otherwise.’
Planned Parenthood is a member association of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, who, as a result of this newly reinstated ‘global gag order’, will lose US funding worldwide if they continue to offer abortion care or services. This can also include (unbelievably), birth control. This means women in poorer parts of the world may now be forced to make misinformed or dangerous decisions involving their reproductive health.
Planned Parenthood’s Twitter post following the signing, pretty much summed up how women across the globe were feeling at that point.
Scarily, we anticipate this won’t be the first of Trump’s anti-choice decisions, and it sets a dangerous precedent for abortion and birth control on a global scale. How does this make you feel? Let us know.