Expanding Mexico City Policy will 'cause unspeakable damage to integrated care efforts across all health sectors,' says one NGO boss

Women and children will die after the Trump administration instituted a new "global gag rule" that blocks aid groups from providing information about abortions if they receive US funding, it has been claimed.

The rule now applies to groups receiving US funds to fight HIV/Aids or even malaria and covers nearly $9 billion (£7 billion) in aid, rather than the $600m (£465 million) restricted by the original Mexico City Policy.

Suzanne Ehlers, president of the PAI reproductive health NGO, said the move would "cause unspeakable damage to integrated care efforts across all health sectors". She added: "It will cost many around the world their lives, especially women."

PAI said the rules - dubbed the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance programme - would cause unsafe abortions, unintended pregnancies and child mortality to rise.

Shannon Kowalski, policy director at the International Women's Health Coalition, called the programme "cruel and unusual punishment". She told The Independent: "Instead of protecting life, it will increase maternal deaths by putting essential sexual and reproductive health care out of reach for far too many women."

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Trump expansion of abortion 'gag rule' will restrict $8.8 billion in US aid

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