On his second full day in office, President Donald Trump ambitiously set out to prove his disdain for not only American women, but women around the globe, and did so with the stroke of his pen. Trump signed an executive order to reinstate the global “gag rule,” also known as the Mexico City policy, that prohibits federal funding from going toward nongovernmental organizations that offer information on family planning services and abortion, regardless of whether or not these organizations even fund abortion-related services, to women abroad.
The gag rule was first signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1984, and President Obama got rid of it almost immediately after coming into office. The law effectively puts women’s human right to make informed choices about their bodies, or really just to know that choices and options regarding their bodies do, indeed, exist, on the back burner, and with it, their health, dignity, and safety, all to promote a backwards political agenda. The gag rule is almost dystopic in its censorship of science and fact, so it’s disappointing but not surprising that an administration so hostile to science and fact would restore this policy.
At any rate, to really, really prove his point that under this administration, women and their bodies are to be fully subject to the laws of white Christian males who obviously know better because patriarchy and all, Trump signed the executive order while a handful of white Christian males stood approvingly behind him, their faces glowing with sadistic delight.
According to Guttmacher Institute, the United States currently spends about $600 million a year on international assistance for family planning and reproductive health care for women abroad, allowing 27 million women to access life-saving contraception and sexual health education.
Still, because of the Helms amendment, which prohibits federal funding from going toward abortions overseas, not one penny of this funding goes toward abortions. But this isn’t enough for the Trump administration, which is now requiring organizations to either promote ignorance and lie to women who could be in desperate life-or-death situations abroad, or lose the federal funding that allows them to do their work.
Apparently to Trump and his cronies, politics and completely misguided notions of ~~~saving the babies~~~ are more important than educating young women about their options and health, but, hey. Trump isn’t asking family planning organizations to lie to women — he’s just asking them to present alternative facts.