Washington D.C., Feb 8, 2019 / 17:01 pm America/Denver (CNA).
Two Democrats in the U.S. Congress this week reintroduced a bill that would permanently repeal the Mexico City Policy, a regulation that is seen as a barometer of U.S. presidents’ abortion politics.
The Mexico City Policy, referred to as the “Global Gag Rule” by some critics, was originally instituted by president Ronald Reagan in 1984. It mandates that foreign non-governmental organizations may not receive federal funding if they perform or promote abortions as a method of family planning.
Since its implementation, the policy has been reinstated by every Republican president, and repealed by every Democratic president. The signing or repealing of the policy is typically one of the first acts by a newly-elected president in a kind of signaling of where they fall on abortion politics.
President Donald Trump signed the policy during his first week in office, and in May 2017 he expanded its scope, allocating more forms of foreign funding to organizations that do not perform or support abortions overseas, a move applauded by pro-life leaders.
When the policy is instated, foreign aid groups must either abide by it or risk losing their federal funding. Critics of the policy say that it cuts funding from essential health care to women abroad.