FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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Washington, D.C., Jan. 23, 2017 — The American Public Health Association today strongly opposed the Trump administration’s decision to reinstate the "global gag rule," a federal ban on U.S. funding for international health organizations that counsel women on family planning options that include abortion.
"Among his first acts in office, President Trump has taken a stand against women’s health," said Georges Benjamin, MD, executive director of APHA. "Limiting support for comprehensive reproductive health services takes us back to failed policies that harmed women’s health. The gag rule has been associated with an increase in abortions, an increase in maternal deaths and encouraging unsafe abortions.
"APHA has long recognized access to the full range of reproductive and sexual health care services, including abortion, as a fundamental right," said Benjamin. "Without access to these services, the health of women and girls is at risk, especially for those in developing countries and war-torn regions. These services are essential for women’s lives, for population health and for advancing income equality, women’s rights and women’s individual freedom."
First instituted by President Ronald Reagan in 1984, this rule, also known as the Mexico City policy, requires non-governmental organizations, as a condition of receiving any federal funding, to agree not to provide abortion services or even counseling or other abortion-related activities. Federal dollars are already prohibited from being used for abortions except in very limited circumstances.
Trump signed an executive order reinstating the ban today.
APHA champions the health of all people and all communities. We strengthen the public health profession. We speak out for public health issues and policies backed by science. We are the only organization that combines a 140-plus year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public’s health. Visit us at www.apha.org.