President Donald Trump reportedly plans to sign an executive order this weekend reinstating the “Mexico City policy,” banning foreign aid from going to nongovernmental organizations — like the International Planned Parenthood Federation — that offer abortions.
The policy could be re-established as early as Sunday, according to a report from Foreign Policy, the 43rd anniversary of the Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade.
The Republican policy, also known as the “global gag rule,” was put in place by former President Ronald Reagan’s administration in 1984 in Mexico City. Ever since, Republican and Democratic presidents have been playing a game of policy ping-pong with the mandate.
The policy was lifted by former President Bill Clinton in 1993, then reinstated by former President George W. Bush when he took office in 2001. Eight years later, former President Barack Obama overturned the rule.
So reports that the new president may reinstate the policy are not surprising. Regardless, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) told Foreign Policy that she is prepared to fight Trump on the matter through legislative procedures, should he reinstate the rule through executive order. Any legislation to overturn the president’s policy decision on this matter would need to pass through the Republican-controlled House and Senate, and would even then likely face a veto from Trump.
“It will be one of their first actions, which is very short-sighted,” she told the magazine.
And Amnesty International said the move would “send a dangerous message to the world that the reproductive rights of women and girls, and refugees’ rights are not a priority,” according to the New York Daily News.
It is worth noting, though, that Obama’s decision to rescind the rule was among his least popular decisions at the start of his tenure in the White House.
In 2009, only 35 percent approved of the former president’s decision to overthrow the rule, while 58 percent disagreed with the move, according to a Gallup survey.
The 1977 Hyde Amendment banned the use of federal funds for abortions within the U.S. However, the “Mexico City policy” not only extends that rule to foreign organizations but also bars them from receiving funding for non-abortion activities.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, more than $600 million in U.S. foreign aid was appropriated for family planning in fiscal year 2016. The pro-abortion institute said the money would have aided some 27 million women.