Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Tuesday that the United States is expanding its ban on giving aid to groups that either promote or provide abortions.
In his announcement on the changes to the so-called Mexico City policy, Pompeo said that the U.S. has extended the ban to include organizations that comply with the rule but give money to others that don’t – adding that the Trump administration will not allow American taxpayer money to pay for “back-door funding schemes and end runarounds to our policy.”
“This administration has shown we can meet critical health care goals while refusing to subsidize the killing of unborn babies,” Pompeo said. “As result of my decision, we will refuse to provide support to NGOs who provide funds to other organizations that promote abortion."
Pompeo added that he is also reducing assistance to the Organization of American States for allegedly lobbying for abortion availability. It wasn’t immediately clear how much would be cut.
Critics of the policy that has been a hallmark of recent Republican administrations call it the “global gag rule.” They say it hurts reproductive and maternal health care in developing nations. Pompeo denied that and said the U.S. would continue to be a leader in such aid.
The Mexico City policy was first implanted in 1984 by the Reagan administration and has since been rescinded and reinstated numerous times by various presidential administrations along party lines.
When reinstating it during his first days in office, Trump expanded part of the policy to include the majority of U.S. bilateral global health assistance, including those that fund HIV measures, maternal and child health, malaria, nutrition, and other programs.
The Assocated Press contributed to this report.