Earlier this week, the Trump Administration declared war on abortion. During his election campaign, President Trump stated his position on this issue, so it should not be surprising that he reinstated the “Global Gag Rule” to end any federal economic support to international organizations that promote abortions. Furthermore, the House of Representatives passed bill HR 7 on Tuesday that will prohibit the use of taxpayer money to fund abortion.
What does this mean?
In the international field, US aid will no longer support non-governmental organizations:
provide referrals or counseling for abortion services, or advocate for the same. NGOs that provide abortions — except in the case of rape, incest or life endangerment.
At home, HR 7, if it is approved by the Senate, will strengthen the Hyde Amendment which makes abortion coverage unavailable for people using Medicaid and Medicare and federal employees.
It would allow insurance companies to sell separate insurance that covers abortion outside of the marketplace — as long as there are no tax credits or refunds involved via the ACA.
The legislation does make some concessions. The federal ban would not apply to cases involving rape or incest, or where the pregnant person’s life is at risk.
Supporters such as Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life, stated that:
“For 40 years, the Hyde amendment has prevented the use of tax dollars from paying for abortion in the United States … It is inconsistent with the Hyde Amendment to fund, with taxpayer dollars, organizations that perform abortions and promote the killing of unborn children in other countries.”
However, people who advocate for abortion rights perceive these policies as violations of women rights.
Serra Sippel, president of the Center for Health and Gender Equality, said:
“I think how we’re looking at it is: This is President Trump taking us back to 1984, and the world has changed very much since then … and we do expect it to cost women their lives.”
Senior Director of Government Relations at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health Ann Marie Benitez stressed that:
“While H.R. 7 does have sweeping impact on all women, it has a disproportionate impact on low-income women and women of color… As an organization that represents Latinas, we’re even more outraged about this, and we will continue to fight it.”
Are the Global Gag Rule or HR 7 violating people’s rights when they try to protect newborn babies? What do you think?
Photo Credit to Jordan Uhl