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Trump’s global gag law on abortion

Written By: - Date published: 12:37 pm, January 24th, 2017 - 52 comments
Categories: feminism, health, human rights, us politics - Tags: , , ,

As expected:

‘Global gag rule’ reinstated by Trump, curbing NGO abortion services abroad

Reagan-era rule bans international NGOs with US funding from providing abortions or offering information, ‘ignoring decades of research’ says Democrat

In one of a number of sharp reversals from the Obama era, Donald Trump on Monday signed an executive order banning international NGOs from providing abortion services or offering information about abortions if they receive US funding.

The rule will put thousands of international healthcare workers in the difficult position of deciding whether to continue to offer family planning care that includes abortion at the expense of a critical funding stream. Many international health advocates insist that their efforts are not comprehensive without abortion services. Unsafe abortions are a major cause of maternal mortality and kill tens of thousands of women every year. …

https://twitter.com/MartinBelam/status/823637000783798272

52 comments on “Trump’s global gag law on abortion”

  1. weka 1

    “At least he’s not bombing women in Syria.”

  2. joe90 2

    Israel…….?

    By any measure, Israel has some of the most liberal abortion policies in the world—not just in the Middle East, where the practice is generally outlawed or heavily circumscribed, but among Western democracies. Today in Israel, abortions are legal at any stage of pregnancy, often subsidized by the state, and overseen by committees of social workers and doctors that typically approve 98% of all requests. Last year, the government allocated an additional 16 million shekel ($4.6 million) to make abortion free for all women between the ages of 20 and 33.

    http://www.tabletmag.com/scroll/191538/on-israels-liberal-abortion-policies

    • Morrissey 2.1

      Ah yes, Israel, gallant defender of women. Perhaps you should tell that to these two girls in the al-Amari refugee camp, here reacting to news of the Israeli massacre of their family, Thursday April 11, 2002. They’ll be young women now, if they haven’t been ethnically cleansed, that is….

      http://www.revisionisthistory.org/images/palchildren_41102.JPG

      • greywarshark 2.1.1

        Morrissey
        So true. And we should know about it but just here, right at this moment, the subject is abortion and birth control. Women get kicked in the butt and other places quite often, but we aren’t listing all the ways that women get f…ked, just abortion and birth control. Capisce!

        • Morrissey 2.1.1.1

          I certainly do capisce! It was joe90 who chose to quote that little piece of pro-Israel propaganda from the extreme right wing Tablet rag.

          I responded to his provocation.

    • bwaghorn 2.2

      ”abortions are legal at any stage of pregnancy,”
      that proves they are cold mfs , early yes, pro choice yes, past 3/4 months fuck no.

  3. Bill 3

    Every Republican President has re-instated the ‘gag law’. And every Democrat President has rescinded it. Just saying.

    • red-blooded 3.1

      Does that make it OK, Bill?

      And, BTW, when women die because of unsafe abortions, fetuses don’t get born. Just saying.

      • Bill 3.1.1

        Nah. I think it’s a atrocious piece of bullshit – both that it’s been reinstated (yet again) and that it’s a see-saw that just swings with a President’s party alignments.

        No idea why you’re throwing in the ‘btw’, btw.

        • red-blooded 3.1.1.1

          Glad to have your opinion clarified. The “BTW” was a reaction to what looked (without any other comment to give it context) like a “business as usual, nothing to see here” minimisation of the damage caused by this bullshit, which presents itself as “pro-life” but actually ends up costing women their lives, as well as their self-dominion.

  4. HDCAFriendlyTroll 4

    Just for the record I believe this is a big mistake on Trump’s part. As Freakanomics (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freakonomics) argues, unwanted kids born to solo parents who can’t look after them means increased crime later on. And that’s not even taking into consideration issues of womens’ reproductive rights etc.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      Oops-onomics

      It was a good test to attempt. But Messrs Foote and Goetz have inspected the authors’ computer code and found the controls missing. In other words, Messrs Donohue and Levitt did not run the test they thought they had—an “inadvertent but serious computer programming error”, according to Messrs Foote and Goetz

      Fixing that error reduces the effect of abortion on arrests by about half, using the original data, and two-thirds using updated numbers. But there is more. In their flawed test, Messrs Donohue and Levitt seek to explain arrest totals (eg, the 465 Alabamans of 18 years of age arrested for violent crime in 1989), not arrest rates per head (ie, 6.6 arrests per 100,000). This is unsatisfactory, because a smaller cohort will obviously commit fewer crimes in total. Messrs Foote and Goetz, by contrast, look at arrest rates, using passable population estimates based on data from the Census Bureau, and discover that the impact of abortion on arrest rates disappears entirely. “I am simply not convinced that there is a link between abortion and crime,” Mr Foote says.

      This is why we have peer-review.

    • Lloyd 4.2

      FriendlyTroll, what American cares about crime in South America, Mexico or Africa?
      What is a Trump shot in the foot is that if there are more Mexicans and South Americans, then more will manage to get into the United States, wall or no wall. Vigorous birth control programmes in undeveloped countries will also reduce the number of disaffected youths potentially jihadis or cocaine growers. Birth control with positive abortion programmes in third world countries are in the interest of all US citizens, right-wing or ‘liberal’. Only thing is it will take about two 8 year terms before Americans feel the effects and the effects will be very hard to track back to Trump’s anti-abortion rule. Basically Trump’s America will be affected by Clinton’s and Bush’s policies in this case.

  5. Rosemary McDonald 5

    The only people qualified to speak about abortion rights (or wrongs) are those who are, or have been, capable of becoming pregnant.

    • wtl 5.1

      I respectfully disagree. No person, be they a man or woman, should be allowed to force a woman to carry on with a pregnancy against her wishes (her body, her choice). Abortion should be legal and remain guaranteed so, even if other women disagree with this.

    • Andre 5.2

      “The only people qualified to speak about abortion rights (or wrongs) are those who are, or have been, capable of becoming pregnant.”

      I dunno.

      A woman carrying an embryo to term is allowing another being to effectively parasitise her body for it’s necessities of life, messing up her biochemistry and physiology, culminating in an extraordinarily painful procedure that has some risk to the woman’s life, before that other being can possibly have a viable life of it’s own. There’s nothing else remotely similar I can think of that we require one human to do for another, though if we started forcibly requiring live organ donations we might be getting close.

      So although I’m male, I’m quite comfortable holding a very strong opinion it’s a woman’s absolute right to choose. And I’d be very comfortable arguing that with a “pro-life” woman.

  6. Skeptic 6

    What a fucking idiot. Doesn’t the cretin know that those who ignore history are condemned to repeat it?

  7. Yes well , apart from the assertion about ‘ a woman should be able to decide what to do with her own body ‘… lets take a look at one or two issues here..

    * NGO ‘s… Non Government Organizations. So ,… whats to stop unethical backyard abortion clinics using USA money to fund their less than peer reviewed safety standards from carrying out their activity’s … one could argue that would never happen as it would be inspected by govt officials. We all know that exists in the ideal world , not so much when money talks and ‘ negotiations’ occur in ‘ softening ‘ regulations.

    * As well,… it would be hard to regulate offshore clinics as well. And again … enforcement of safety regulations . Seems the govt and the public have a right to know where their tax dollar is being allocated when it comes to foreign and private medical services.

    I would suggest this is more an attempt to standardize this field – and possibly based on recommendations from the medical fraternity themselves and bodies such as the FDA… not some archaic and punitive move on the part of some patriarchal medieval style morality.

    • McFlock 7.1

      The issue of unethical or uncertified, incompetent organisations receiving any funding from any public source whatsoever cannot be resolved by applying this regulation.

      However, applying this regulation will deny healthcare to millions. And do nothing to prevent “unethical backyard abortion clinics”.

      • WILD KATIPO 7.1.1

        ” The issue of unethical or uncertified, incompetent organisations receiving any funding from any public source whatsoever cannot be resolved by applying this regulation.”

        It may not stop all – but it might just stop a few. There’s always going to be those who find a way around legislation to try and beat the system. As an aside – it might just be interesting to see the medical statistics around harmful abortions . And the bodies who provided those statistics. Were they private or public medical health bodies ?

        Also interesting is that the insurance for medical care is to be opened up cross- state thereby encouraging competitiveness for those seeking health measures… which is a definite ‘ free – market’ response by Trump , yet here – for some reason – its the reverse. The only other reason could be to favour American private health practitioners via political lobby groups rather than offshore ones. And since we don’t have direct access to those statistics we really cannot say for certain the motives or origins of this legislation .

        There are cases where abortion seems to be in the best interests of the mother – even the foetus – perhaps there are special cases , rape , incest etc… but even then it must be kept on a tight leash as it can potentially lead to wholesale eugenics if left without some sort of guiding legislation.

        Its a difficult field and one that will always be contentious.

        • red-blooded 7.1.1.1

          WK, aren’t you muddling your thinking, just a bit? This rule is focused on overseas aid. The “free-market” for health insurance in the States is irrelevant when we’re discussing the free provision of health care through NGO aid programmes in countries in crisis.

          Ironically, this rule has in the past increased the number of unwanted pregnancies (sexual health clinics closed, US-funded contraception withdrawn) and has failed to decrease the number of abortions.
          https://www.engenderhealth.org/media/info/definition-global-gag-rule.php

          Plus, I find it hard to push aside the argument that “a woman be able to decide what to do with her own body” quite as easily as you.

          • WILD KATIPO 7.1.1.1.1

            What Im getting at is using the example of domestic health versus offshore health when its being allocated Federal funding , – and the possible thinking behind it. And the the origins of it and the possible lobby groups and what their motives might possibly be.

            Regards this : ” Plus, I find it hard to push aside the argument that “a woman be able to decide what to do with her own body” quite as easily as you. ”

            Abortion affects not just the woman receiving the abortion in many cases – for example it can affect family’s who would have happily supported the child , -different if it was a woman who didn’t have that sort of supportive family , also there are non consensual pregnancy’s etc etc , the point is, – there are many different scenarios and each one has to be taken into consideration and judged on its own unique merits.

            And as some of the commentator’s above have stated themselves there is no ‘one shoe size fits all ‘ .

            Don’t attempt to try and surreptitiously paint me as a bigot , please ,… as there are many angles to this and much to take into consideration – much more than just a simple emotive knee jerk reaction or statement to try and close people down .

            And yes, it seems you have a point regarding the gag rule,.. in which case it would appear that it would need modification in many cases where it was having an adverse affect on foreign country’s populations – even outside of abortion issues. However,.. the onus is still on those country’s receiving American Federal aid to comply with regulations if they still want that aid , and to ensure they do not encourage dodgy , backyard practices.

            A tough call , and a difficult situation. Many different angles on this.

            • GregJ 7.1.1.1.1.1

              It was specifically introduced by Reagan to stop foreign NGOs that receive USAID family planning funds from using their own, non-U.S. funds to provide legal abortion services, lobby their own governments for abortion law reform, or even provide accurate medical counseling or referrals regarding abortion. It’s an extension of the 1973 Helms Amendment that already restricts U.S. funds from being used for these activities.

              https://www.reproductiverights.org/document/the-bush-global-gag-rule-endangering-womens-health-free-speech-and-democracy

            • GregJ 7.1.1.1.1.2

              A tough call , and a difficult situation. Many different angles on this.

              No there’s not. A simple extension of the kickback by conservatives over Roe vs Wade. Just another manifestation of conservative patriarchy trying to have things their way and impose their warped morality on other people.

            • red-blooded 7.1.1.1.1.3

              “Don’t attempt to try and surreptitiously paint me as a bigot , please ,… as there are many angles to this and much to take into consideration – much more than just a simple emotive knee jerk reaction or statement to try and close people down .”

              If you read my response again, I think you’ll find that I did actually engage with your other arguments. That’s hardly and attempt to “close you down”.

              As for being “emotive” or “knee jerK”, I took one of your comments, quoted it and responded briefly. Is that not allowed anymore?

        • McFlock 7.1.1.2

          In addition to what the others have said about the question of funding organisations that (in addition to what they’re being funded for by the US) also provide abortions, I suspect the interstate insurance thing is simply to lower insurance regulation to the lowest common denominator – the companies have a home office in a low-compliance state, and thereby skirt the regulations in more advanced states.

  8. Cinny 8

    What kind of sick twisted human being endorses women giving birth to a baby created by rape?

    Agent Orange is that type. You sicko, how about we organise someone to gang rape one of your daughters, resulting in a pregnancy… then how about we make her give birth to that child… wouldn’t that be something? Give her no other advice except to have the child and get over it. Surely that would be a helpful thing to do for a women. Only a control freak would make such a helpful decision… ‘rolls my eyes’,

    Expect to hear of plenty ‘back yard abortions’ and the resulting trauma and medical mishaps that happen as a result. Nothing good will come of this decision of his.

    Wonder how much abortions cost in private clinics over there? That will be their only choice now, fee’s will be on the rise and someone will end up making money from ‘Agent Orange Aid’

    • Rosemary McDonald 8.1

      “What kind of sick twisted human being endorses women giving birth to a baby created by rape?”

      That’s the easy scenario…and even the most rabid anti abortion campaigners have some sympathy in that situation.

      The thing that gets me about this is why it has to be that the opposite of “pro choice” is not “anti choice”, but “pro life”.

      The message from the “pro life” camp being that the “pro choice” people are “anti life”… which couldn’t be further from the truth.

    • joe90 8.2

      What kind of sick twisted human being endorses women giving birth to a baby created by rape?

      Melania knows.

      (video)

      http://theslot.jezebel.com/melania-trump-definitely-loves-her-husband-and-is-very-1791531766?

  9. Sabine 9

    for what its worth,

    this happens every time the government changes for R to D and vis versa. The global gag rule was instated under Reagan and is dis-established when ever there is a D in the white house and re-established when there is an R in the white house.

    Cause women should know that all the little babies are blessings from god and besides they are made to breed children, so they don’t need to be counselled on aborting the ‘pre – born’. Mind, once they are born and thus ‘pre-dead’ they are shit out of luck the little babies.

    it was particular bad under Bush 2 when even birth control was an issue if an agency received federal funds.

    • Cinny 9.1

      That sucks and it makes sense which sucks even more. I feel very sorry for the women over there, it appears they are just pawns in a game of cards and that blows

      • Sabine 9.1.2

        make no mistake Cinny that the same can happen here if the right crowd gets voted in.
        under these circumstance one can have an abortion in NZ

        Current New Zealand law allows for abortions to be performed for the following reasons, providing the abortion is approved by two certifying consultants and the pregnancy is less than 20 weeks old:

        to save the life of the woman (even if after 20 weeks)
        to preserve the physical health of the woman
        to preserve the mental health of the woman
        foetal impairment
        in cases of incest[8]

        There are already those in NZ that would remove point 3 and point 4 as invalid reasons for an abortion, cause they are just ‘vanity ‘ reasons. – never mind that reason 3 is the most cited reason for abortions in NZ.
        then you have those that would even go so far as to say no abortion in the case of incest or rape – cause gods will and other assorted bullshit.
        then you have those that would eliminate any reason, i guess only the pre -born counts, and one bloke can easily replace one broken incubator with another one.

        We should worry about what is happening here, as these rights are being slowly eroded all over the ‘western’ world. Heck try having an abortion in Russia 🙂 – they know don’t even have laws anymore in regards to domestic violence and they are calling for a total ban on abortions
        http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/715260/Vladimir-Putin-Russia-abortion-total-ban
        http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/russia-decriminalise-domestic-violence-vladimir-putin-ultra-conservative-family-laws-a7541371.html
        soon to come to the US?

        and then we bring back the Magdalene laundries for all the fallen, unfortunate women who somehow who all got pregnant by themselves 🙂 and now have to look after children they can’t afford and should never have had. http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/715260/Vladimir-Putin-Russia-abortion-total-ban
        Gosh, aren’t men lucky that they will never have to actually go through the predicament of finding two doctors that will not waste your money and time to state that your pregnancy is in early stages and that clearly you are mentally not cabable of keeping this child.

        • reason 9.1.2.1

          Your link has a Fake header Sabine …. It is conservative christians and muslims within russia who are calling for a ban on abortions.

          From wiki ….”the countries of the former Soviet Union maintain the highest rate of abortions in the world. ” ….. which although I’m pro choice I see as a bad statistic ….. but it runs counter to your narrative of ‘ try getting an abortion in russia ‘

          The drive to amend the laws on domestic violence is coming from the ‘conservative’ people in Russia ….

          I also not Humans Rights Watch in driving the bad russia story ….

          “Human Rights Watch characterizes itself as an “independent, international organization” — and yet its staff, board of directors and advisory committees boast deep ties to the highest levels of the U.S. government”…..

          • Sabine 9.1.2.1.1

            the header is correct.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_Russia

            On 21 October 2011, the Russian Parliament passed a law restricting abortion to the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, with an exception up to 22 weeks if the pregnancy was the result of rape, and for medical necessity it can be performed at any point during pregnancy.

            snip

            Recent efforts[edit]
            The abortion issue has gained renewed attention in 2011 in a debate that the New York Times says “has begun to sound like the debate in the United States”.[27] Parliament passed and President Dmitri Medvedev signed several restrictions on abortion into law to combat “a falling birthrate” and “plunging population”.[27] The restrictions include requiring abortion providers to devote 10% of advertising costs to describing the dangers of abortion to a woman’s health and make it illegal to describe abortion as a safe medical procedure. Medvedev’s wife Svetlana Medvedeva has taken up the pro-life cause in Russia in a weeklong national campaign against abortion called “Give Me Life!” and a “Day of Family, Love and Faithfulness” by her Foundation for Social and Cultural Initiatives in conjunction with the Russian Orthodox Church.[27]

            i don’t care which fucking group of religious fuckwits would like to send us women back into the dark ages of breeding until one dies or the uterus falls out, i don’t care one bit. But i do care about so called secular men signing laws that will make it all ‘legal’.

            secondly, while abortion is still available it is become harder and harder to find places that will provide them in a safe manner. but you can still have an abortion by coathanger, abortion by baseball bat, abortion by falling down stairs, abortion by drinking poison and so on and so on as it was before abortion became legal.

            as for your last line in your comment, insert face palm.

            your concern was noted and considered but found to have no value at all.

    • weka 9.2

      One of the differences this time is that Tr*mp looks set to go hard at US abortion law too. Part of a package.

      • Sabine 9.2.1

        i have been saying now for month that people should look past Trump (who in my books will be impeached before the end of his term) and look at VP Pence and holier then thou Paul Ryan. Then look to the rest of the cabinet and its not only Roe vs Wade that will go but also the earlier decision to the right of privacy for women and their doctors Griswold vs Connecticut which was the supreme court ruling making way for birth control access to women.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Griswold_v._Connecticut

        Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965),[1] is a landmark case in the United States in which the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the Constitution protected the use of birth control. The case involved a Connecticut “Comstock law” that prohibited any person from using “any drug, medicinal article or instrument for the purpose of preventing conception.” By a vote of 7–2, the Supreme Court invalidated the law on the grounds that it violated the “right to marital privacy”, establishing the basis for the right to privacy with respect to intimate practices. This and other cases view the right to privacy as a right to “protect[ion] from governmental intrusion

        • weka 9.2.1.1

          Thanks, I didn’t know about that. Weird, and that makes women even more vulnerable.

          And yes, Tr*mp for me means the whole team.

          • Sabine 9.2.1.1.1

            frankly the others scare me more. they are the true believers. Trump is a con artist who will do what ever to make a few bucks. This could actually exploited to good use.
            But look at the evangelic nutcases behind them, the ones that have interviews and don’t ever answer a question but will just (for us at least) mindlessly repeat the same thing. Like ‘alternative facts’ Conway, or “Grizzly bears in Schools’ de vos, or this McEnnany Girl that wears the cross on her chest as if it would ward of the ‘others’ that may let her astray.

            Gosh all of these guys look like they are straight out of Gods College Liberty College. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberty_University as an example
            These guys have been training the ‘godly government employees for a few decades now.
            And these guys are ready to bring the US back to god and if it costs them the planet. Cause Christ must arrive a second time, and they ain’t gonna miss it.

            a good read also here from 2007 http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article18334.htm
            http://www.christiantaliban.org/

            the christian right is truly frightful. Trump is only a lacky, and without the support of the people he does not have many friends. I would be very very worried that I might be ‘left behind’ if i were him.

            • Cinny 9.2.1.1.1.1

              Crikey you sure know your subject matter Sabine, you teach me so much, and I really appreciate it, cheers for the links.

              USA and God, they just love it and any in power use that love of god to leverage anything they need and it’s sickening. Personally I was quite surprised at how religious the Presidential Inauguration was.

              Makes even more sense now at how many women and their supporters turned out across the globe to protest Agent Orange the other day. No bloody wonder with his abortion ideas.

              Mum who is very clued up politically suggested that those protests are just the beginning, she wouldn’t be surprised to see many riots in the future.. ‘don’t you mean protests Mum?’ .. ‘no darling.. riots.’

              • Sabine

                You mum knows what she speaks of.
                She probably remembers the day of coat hanger abortions and not being able to get a loan or money without signature from Dad or Hubby. and yes that was NZ up until the late 70’s.
                People forget to fast.

  10. james 10

    This is something I really hate about politics.

    Regan, Bush and Trump one way, Clinton and Obama the other.

    This is too big and personal thing to be a political football.

    I have strong views on this subject, but hell – they are personal and not political on this. And I hate, with a passion, that this becomes used for political gain.

    There are so many variables in this that there just cannot be a ‘one sized fits all’ rule.

    • Sabine 10.1

      keeping women in their place is a very conservative thing to do. Really, progressives understand that a. women should decide what happens to their bodies and b. that man should not legislate uterus anymore then they legislate penis.

      The old adage that if men are the ones to birth children abortion would be free of charge and offered anywhere is very very true.

      And in this case, a bunch of out and proud bigots that care not one iota that their bullshit fee fees about the ‘pre-born’ and ‘gods will’ is killing women, hurting women and setting them back to the dark ages of teh self induced/back alley abortion.
      As for the children born to mothers that neve wanted them, to bad, they should have enough clout to choose better parents? No?

      but hey, if these girls would just stay home until dad hands them over to husband at age 12 or thirteen (when they start bleeding) then they would not need an abortion.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/14/opinion/americas-child-marriage-problem.html

      http://letthemmarry.org/

  11. Carolyn_nth 11

    Don’t know who that guy is on the right of the photo. But he looks pretty damn smug and self-satisfied.

    Pussy-grabber & woman molester – he’ll do what he wants (& can get away with), with women’s bodies, but damn well won’t let them have control of their own bodies.

    • Andre 11.1

      Steve Bannon? He’s had a shave, haircut, and been dressed up so he’s hard to recognise.

      • Carolyn_nth 11.1.1

        I wouldn’t have recognised him anyway. His name isn’t that familiar to me. But I haven’t really followed Trump politics much. The small amount of seen of Trump, I find him a reprehensible human being. Can’t stand the sight of him.

        • Andre 11.1.1.1

          If you want to understand why he’s looking so smug, read up about him. Or not, he’s a thoroughly revolting specimen. Trumpian in his degree of vileness.

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