Just in time for Mother’s Day, Donald Trump released a statement marking “Women’s Health Week” which may sound caring and sensible, if you understand nothing in any respect about Trump and his administration.
Trump claims to “recognize the importance of providing women access to the best, evidence-based health information and care,” noting that women live “longer, healthier lives than their mothers,” thanks largely to elevated medical information and analysis. And he states that “women should have access to quality prenatal, maternal, and newborn care.”
And proper on the heels of this doublespeak comes the information that Trump is planning to drastically expand the anti-abortion policy often known as the Global Gag Rule.
The policy, which was reinstated by Trump simply days after his inauguration, prohibits disbursement of monetary help from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for household planning providers to any overseas group that gives and even talks about abortion providers to their sufferers. It has been rescinded and reinstated alongside celebration strains for many years, however as Laura Basset at Huffington Post notes, Trump is taking it much further than any of his Republican predecessors:
Trump’s plan, referred to as Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance, goes a lot additional than that. The policy applies the anti-abortion rule to $eight.eight billion in international health funding furnished by the State Department, USAID and the Department of Defense, as an alternative of solely $600 million in household planning funding. This signifies that a clinic receiving U.S. help for HIV or Zika aid will lose all that cash if it a lot as provides pregnant women details about protected abortion care.
Potentially withholding very important funds for medical care associated to critical sicknesses reminiscent of HIV or the Zika virus, all within the identify of burnishing anti-abortion bona fides, is mendacious and harmful.
As Jill Filipovic recently wrote at Foreign Policy, the impact of the Global Gag Rule is “wide-sweeping and chilling” throughout many creating nations:
Family planning advocates from Washington, D.C., to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia fear that Trump’s Global Gag Rule won’t solely roll again most of the modest however essential positive aspects African nations have made on protected abortion, but in addition the last decade’s value of progress in growing household planning, reducing maternal mortality, and selling democracy and women’s rights extra broadly.
“Murder does not mean just picking a gun or a knife and killing people,” [Dr. Fred] Gbagbo stated. “Denying someone their legitimate, rightful access to a service, as a health worker, is equally as murderous as killing someone.” This is strictly what he and the group he works for worry the Gag Rule will do.
Marjorie Newman-Williams, vice chairman and director of worldwide operations at Marie Stopes, a world NGO that gives household planning and different reproductive providers, defined that when the U.S. governments prohibits such organizations from informing sufferers about abortion:
[T]he most weak individual within the equation isn’t a legislator in Washington or a devoted NGO worker. It is “a woman needing care because she’s had an unsafe abortion walking into a public health clinic that cannot speak about abortion because they’re taking U.S. money … They will look that woman in the face and turn their back on her.”
It is repugnant to declare that a policy that would have such huge and damaging impression — together with the potential of a painful and wholly avoidable dying — on tens of millions of weak, marginalized women is “pro-life,” as if the one “life” with which one want be morally involved is that of an unborn fetus.
Condemning hundreds of thousands of individuals to illness, damage, and probably dying — together with, in lots of instances, the demise of the fetus which receives such disproportionate regard — isn’t solely not pro-life; it’s, actually, anti-life.
This transfer by Trump might come as no shock, after he and Mike Pence eagerly performed their half in previous rollbacks of women’s health care, and after Senate Republicans noticed match to put collectively a working group on their model of the House’s health care repeal plan composed of 13 men and precisely zero women.
But it needn’t be shocking to be dismaying and infuriating that the White House is poised to endanger women all over the world in service of the far proper’s die-hard anti-abortion agenda.
As Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) famous in a press release, this enlargement of the Global Gag Rule “will undermine global health efforts and the reproductive freedom and economic security of women worldwide — and it makes President Trump’s blatantly false statement about concern for women’s health, issued just one day ago, all the more insulting and ridiculous.”
And as Sasha Bruce, senior vice chairman of campaigns and technique for NARAL, put it bluntly, Trump is “treating women’s lives like political bargaining chips, trading them away to shore up his flagging support.” She added, “A man who was best known during the campaign for disrespecting and objectifying women clearly hasn’t changed his behavior despite wielding even more power.”
Indeed, Trump appears keen to use that energy for as a lot sick objective as he can. “Pro-life” is a cruelly meaningless label, if one makes use of it to cowl up compelled struggling.