No, The Global Gag Order Will Not Save The U.S. Any Money
Yesterday Kylie told us all about how Trump decided the first thing he wanted to do in office was to
insult his predecessor to his face employing dictator’s favorite move by filling audiences with supporters lying to the American people sending his staff members out to lie to the American people restrict the information women in foreign countries can receive about abortions and abortive treatments. The social media backlash has basically been, “Why should U.S. tax dollars be sent overseas to pay for women’s abortions?” After having written essentially the same response to a number of people, I decided it might be easier to save all of the pertinent facts in the same place, and give you poppets access to them. You’re welcome.
— The Global Gag order doesn’t prevent U.S. federal funds from paying for abortion. Because the Hyde Amendment was already taking care of that. As Kylie stated in her post:
Still, because of the Helms amendment, which prohibits federal funding from going toward abortions overseas, not one penny of this funding goes toward abortions.The Hyde Amendment has been in place since 1994.
— The Global Gag order does not change the amount of aid being sent to other countries. Foreign aid is decided in the yearly budget prepared by the President and presented to Congress for approval. The 2017 Budget has already been put together, and is awaiting full approval. Trump could, at this point, change aspects of the budget, but the Global Gag order does not do this.
— The amount of money we’re spending in foreign aid is significantly less than most Americans imagine. It’s overall roughly 1 percent of the entire budget. And while the U.S. is one of the largest donors in sheer amounts, we’re at the bottom in terms of percentages. Given how much total income we have, we’re pretty stingy.
— The 1 percent of the federal budget translates into about $50 billion for both the State Dept. and USAID foreign aid. And as Kylie also stated yesterday:
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.$600 million in total is spent on birth control each year. I’m not pretending that $600 million is a small number for your average citizen, but it’s pretty small for a nation as large as the U.S. Pretending for a second that the Global Gag order does reduce the foreign aid, that would amount to $1.88 more for everyone in the country.
So given that the Gag order doesn’t eliminate funding for abortion (the Hyde amendment does that) and it doesn’t reduce the amount we’re spending on foreign aid (the federal budget does that), what exactly does the order do? It tells non-governmental organizations (usually non-profit ones) that if they admit the existence of abortion, the U.S. will pull their funding. That’s the only thing that happens. It doesn’t benefit the U.S. taxpayer in anyway. And given that restrictions on safe abortions only increase the number of unsafe abortions, the order won’t even be saving all those unborn souls Pence seems so concerned about. The realistic effect of Trump’s signature yesterday is that women of child-bearing age are unsafer today.
So what can we do? We can continue to contact our elected officials to tell them we think this is bullshit (and remind them you don’t like Trump’s Cabinet picks or the repeal of the ACA or Trump’s refusal to release his taxes and by the way, have we mentioned the Dickey Amendment lately?), and you can donate to Marie Stopes International (MSI) and the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). Both organizations have said they will refuse to sign onto the policy, and forfeit the federal funding. Which also means we’ve got a $600 million hole to fill. Bust open those checkbooks, people.