United States President Donald Trump on Monday signed an executive order reinstating the Mexico City Policy on abortion, which prohibits international non-governmental organisations (NGO) that get US government funding from performing or promoting abortions.
The Mexico City Policy is a US government policy enacted and rescinded intermittently. The policy requires all foreign NGOs, which receive federal funding to refrain from promoting or performing abortion services as one of the methods of family planning with non-US government funds in other countries.
"The president, it's no secret, has made it very clear that he's a pro-life president. He wants to stand up for all Americans, including the unborn, and I think the reinstatement of this policy is not just something that echoes that value, but respects taxpayer funding as well," White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters.
The Mexico City Policy was initially introduced by the Reagan administration but was later rescinded by the Obama administration in 2009. The policy is enforced on and off considering which party administration is in place. The Democratic administration traditionally rescinds the policy while the Republican administration reinstates it.
However, the US law banned direct funding for abortion services even during the time of Obama administration, although the NGOS that promoted or performed abortion services were allowed to receive federal funding for other programmes related to family planning like contraception access and post-abortion care.
However, after Trump's executive order on the policy, international NGOs that promote or offer abortions will be prevented from getting any funding assistance from the US Agency for International Development.
NARAL Pro-Choice America slammed Trump's move soon after the executive order was signed and released a statement. "Donald Trump has turned his anti-women rhetoric into policy, and made it more difficult for women and families all over the world to access vital reproductive care. He really is living up to the lowest of expectations," NARAL's president Ilyse Hogue wrote.