Perhaps the most common misconception around the Mexico City Policy is that it prevents the the United States Agency of International Development from using federal dollars to fund abortions, but that's been illegal since the 1970s. The Helms Amendment had previously banned this in 1973, stating that "no foreign assistance funds may be used to pay for the performance of abortion as a method of family planning or to motivate or coerce any person to practice abortions." Piggybacking on this, the 1976 Hyde Amendment stopped the federal funding of abortion through Medicaid. In 1984, eleven years later, along came Reagan's global gag rule.Since its conception, Democratic presidents have historically repealed the global gag rule, while Republicans have revived it.The impact of the law is far-reaching. According to Center for American Progress, its effects extend to all areas of reproductive care:
Shortly after the reinstatement of the Mexico City Policy in 2001, for example, shipments of donated contraceptives—including condoms—were completely stopped from the United States. This left 20 developing countries without much-needed contraceptive supplies. In addition… abortion rates increased in countries where [organizations that refused to sign the global gag rule] were working to more than twice the rate prior to the presidency of George W. Bush.
That's Bleak. Who's Fighting Against It?Many international reproductive health organizations, like Pathfinder International and the International Women's Health Coalition, have made statements regarding the Mexico City Policy's dangerous implications and would benefit from support in any way. For a generously comprehensive list of the organizations that oppose the global gag rule, the Center for Reproductive Rights' coalition statement names 138 groups.
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