Most groups agree to stop abortion services in exchange for US aid

Most groups agree to stop abortion services in exchange for US aid
© Getty

A Trump administration decision to put new abortion restrictions on international health funding has prompted four nongovernmental organizations and 12 of their local partners to not renew their requests for the aid.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpMeet the lawyer Democrats call when it's recount time Avenatti denies domestic violence allegations: 'I have never struck a woman' Trump names handbag designer as ambassador to South Africa MORE last year reinstated the so-called Mexico City policy, which bans the use of foreign aid for international family planning organizations and nongovernmental organizations that provide or promote abortions.

He also went a step further than previous presidents by extending the policy to cover all global health assistance programs furnished by all U.S. departments or agencies. 

In exchange for this funding, organizations had to promise not to provide or promote abortions, even with their own funding. 

ADVERTISEMENT

According to a six-month review of the policy released by the State Department, of the 733 organizations whose funding came up for renewal under the new restrictions, only four rejected the new terms. 

Another 500 grants have not been subjected to the criteria but will by the end of the fiscal year.

The review did not specify which organizations have refused to accept the restrictions and therefore lose funding. 

But both the International Planned Parenthood Federation and Marie Stopes International have publicly said they would not accept the terms. 

Planned Parenthood, which works in 29 countries, said it expects to lose $100 million in funding, while Marie Stopes International, which works in 37 countries, said it expects to lose $80 million.

Every Republican president since Ronald Reagan has implemented the Mexico City policy, and Democrats have rolled it back after taking office. 

Anti-abortion groups who don't think U.S. funds should go to groups that provide or promote abortion cheered the findings. 

"Only a tiny minority of extreme pro-abortion groups have stubbornly refused to put the wellbeing of all women ahead of their agenda," said national anti-abortion rights group Susan B. Anthony List. 

"The funds they forfeited have gone to worthy providers who respect the life, dignity, and values of women and families worldwide, as well as the will of American taxpayers."

However, Planned Parenthood Global called the report "misleading." 

"We've seen the impact of these policies for women around the world," said Latanya Mapp Frett, executive director of Planned Parenthood Global. 

"In Uganda, a service provider that delivers health services to over one million people annually has already seen its ability to serve its patients severely limited. As a result, unintended pregnancies will rise, and with it, unsafe abortions."