How does President Trump decide to celebrate the 44th anniversary of Roe v. Wade? By making it harder for women around the world to get an abortion or even information about abortion. He signed an executive order yesterday reinstating the “global gag rule” – a harmful policy that prohibits international non-governmental organizations that receive US government funding from using their own money to provide information, referrals, or services for legal abortion or to advocate for access to abortion in their own country.
This policy harms the health of individuals in the poorest countries and leaves them without the information and care they need. It censors organizations who are trying to provide that information and care. And it renders the U.S.’s international family planning program ineffective.
Research has documented how the global gag rule has forced health providers to reduce staff and services and even shut their doors; how thousands of women lose their ability to get care from trusted providers; how it makes abortion more necessary and unsafe.
Not only does this dishonor Roe v. Wade, but it is also dishonors the millions of people who only two days earlier came together all over the world to support women’s rights, including access to safe, legal abortion. (Also dishonorable? Trump signing a restriction on abortion while surrounded by a bunch of white men.)
This opening act by the new Administration shows that our voices must be even louder, our resolve even firmer, and our resistance even stronger.