• Trump to widen ‘Mexico City policy’, which had been suspended under Obama
  • Rule will prevent foreign aid going to groups that even discuss abortion rights

 

A health clinic in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Trump’s rule blocks US aid to any organization that discusses abortion as part of a family planning service.

 A health clinic in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Trump’s rule blocks US aid to any organization that discusses abortion as part of a family planning service. Photograph: Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters

The Trump administration will significantly expand a Reagan-era policy banning foreign aid to international healthcare providers who discuss abortion, a White House official has told the Christian Broadcasting Network.

The new terms of the ban will reportedly apply to $8.8bn in existing foreign aid provided by the state department, USAid, and the Department of Defense – dwarfing the $60m in programming that previously fell under the ban.

The change in policy will not cut the amount of foreign aid distributed through existing channels. But it will prevent those funds from going to any organization that promotes abortion rights.

“Votes in America have international consequences,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the Susan B Anthony List, an anti-abortion political action committee. “The [policy] implemented today is one of the reasons pro-life voters worked to elect Donald Trump to the White House. We have officially ceased exporting abortion to foreign nations.”

State department officials are expected to formally announce the new rules as early as Monday.

Critics say the rule will put thousands of international healthcare workers in the difficult position of deciding whether to continue to offer family planning care that includes abortion at the expense of a crucial funding stream.

Worldwide, unsafe abortions are a major cause of maternal mortality and kill tens of thousands of women every year.

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