On Saturday, millions of people all over the world took a stand for women’s rights. Fast-forward to Monday, and Donald Trump has signed an anti-abortion executive order.
Trump has reinstated the “global gag rule”. which is also known as the Mexico City policy. First brought into action by Ronald Reagan in 1984, it puts a ban on providing federal money to international groups that provide abortion services – whether it’s information or the termination itself.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, US foreign aid provides $607.5 million for family planning. This means that 27 million women and couples receive contraceptive services, 6 million women avoid unwanted pregnancies, and 11,000 women’s lives are saved from unsafe abortions. The Guttmacher Institute says that all of these benefits will be eliminated if US funding is cut.
Trump has reinstated the global gag rule, cutting off U.S. funding to any org that lists abortion as part of family planning. #Deplorable
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) January 23, 2017
According to the Centre for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE), the global gag rule has: “Prevented women and girls from accessing contraception and safe abortion consistent with the laws in their countries, been associated with increased abortion rates, hampered HIV prevention efforts, contributed to the closing of health clinics, obstructed rural communities’ access to health care” and it also has “the potential to negatively affect the speed and effectiveness of humanitarian aid” – and this is what Trump is reinstating.
It is interesting to note that Trump has signed this order one day after the January 22 anniversary of the 1973 Roe vs Wade decision which legalised abortion in the US – it has now become the date when presidents take action over abortion.
Some people think that Trump’s action is a response to the women’s marches on Saturday.
Trump's anti-abortion move feels like a petulant response to #Womensmarch
— Mel Melvin #PCPEU #NHSLove 🙏 (@melaniekmelvin) January 23, 2017
Trump decided to respond to the Women's March by reimplementing the abortion gag rule.
These next four years are going to suck.
— Michael Russell (@RomSteady) January 23, 2017
Many are angry at the move, which will have a far-reaching impact.
Unsafe abortion accounts for 13% of all maternal deaths globally. Trump's reinstating the 'Global Gag Rule' will be deadly.
— Laura Bassett (@LEBassett) January 23, 2017
Trump signed an anti-abortion executive order. I AM SO MAD RIGHT NOW.
— Katharina Krebs (@Kylobith) January 23, 2017
And some were quick to notice that Trump made this decision regarding women’s reproductive rights surrounded entirely by men.
My reaction to Trump's anti-abortion order pic.twitter.com/fOdfAbZs2e
— Clara B Gurresø (@CGurreso) January 23, 2017
It remains to be seen whether Trump makes further pro-life moves during his time in office.