Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-San Fernando Valley) slammed President Donald Trump’s decision to reinstate a global gag rule that prohibits US-funded groups around the world from discussing abortion.
The rule, which was created under the Reagan Administration in 1984 — and was also known as the “Mexico City policy” — bars American non-governmental organizations working abroad that provide abortion services or provided information about abortion from receiving foreign aid or federal funding.
The Obama Administration had lifted the rule in 2009.
Although the order —signed by Trump on Monday, Jan. 23 — was expected, it was roundly panned by women’s rights groups.
Cárdenas also voiced his ire in a released statement.
“Today, the Trump Administration took away women’s access to healthcare services around the world,” Cárdenas said. “Trump’s executive order forces clinics to choose between offering women all healthcare options and being denied crucial aid from the United States — though this aid is already prohibited from funding abortions.
“This order hurts millions of women globally and only increases unsafe births. I am appalled that Trump is returning to this dangerously outdated policy.”
Other pro choice organizations lashed out at the decision.
Population Action International (PAI), a global family planning advocacy organization, released a statement declaring the move “the beginning of the Trump-Pence administration’s agenda to punish women everywhere.”
The abortion rights group NARAL also condemned the decision as “repressing women.”
“With this action, Donald Trump has turned his anti-women rhetoric into policy, and made it more difficult for women and families all over the world to access vital reproductive care,” said NARAL president Ilyse Hogue. “He really is living up to the lowest of expectations.”
Support for the move came from Republicans like Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, who said in a statement that “Americans are humanitarians and the Mexico City Policy reflects our heartfelt compassion for both moms and babies.”
A spokeswoman for International Planned Parenthood Federation told reporters that the organization will not abide by the gag rule and stands to lose up to $100 million it currently receives from the US. None of that money is used for abortion services.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.