Biden Lifts Anti-Abortion Restrictions On Global Aid
The teeter-totter that is the “Mexico City Policy” — also known as the “global gag rule” by critics — that governs U.S. funding for international family planning organizations shifts again as President Joe Biden lifts prohibitions that his predecessor had reenacted and expanded.
The Wall Street Journal:
Biden Targets Abortion Restrictions As Fight Looms In Congress
President Biden ended a policy that prohibits federal funds from going to foreign-aid groups that perform abortions or provide related services, one of several moves likely to spark renewed debate over abortion access. Mr. Biden can make some of his intended changes quickly, but others will likely run into hurdles in Congress, where Democrats hold narrow majorities. Echoing many Democrats and abortion-rights advocates, he has said he backs ending a provision in spending bills known as the Hyde Amendment, which bars federal funds from being used for abortions except in limited cases. (Lucey and Peterson, 1/28)
Biden Starts Rolling Back Trump Anti-Abortion Rules
Biden's order also withdraws the U.S. from the anti-abortion “Geneva Consensus Declaration” the Trump administration signed last year with dozens of other countries, which asserted that “there is no international right to abortion, nor any international obligation on the part of States to finance or facilitate abortion.” Domestically, Biden additionally signed a memorandum directing the Department of Health and Human Services to review and consider scrapping the Trump administration’s rule that overhauled the Title X federal family planning program, stripping tens of millions of dollars in grants from Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers. Hundreds of providers have left the Title X program over the past couple of years, leaving big gaps in care. (Ollstein, 1/28)
The Washington Post:
FAQ: Biden Drops Trump’s Anti-Abortion ‘Global Gag Rule.’ Here’s What That Means For Abortion Access Worldwide.
Soon after he took office as president, Donald Trump reinstated and expanded a policy known by its critics as the “global gag rule,” which bars U.S. funding for organizations abroad that perform abortions or offer information about them. On Thursday, a week into his term, President Biden signed a memorandum rescinding the policy. He also directed the Department of Health and Human Services to review a rule instated by Trump that cut off federal funding for domestic family planning programs involved with abortions, such as Planned Parenthood, and ordered the restoration of funding to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which Trump had cut in a dispute over abortion provisions. (Berger, 1/28)
Previously From KHN: Trump’s Anti-Abortion Zeal Shook Fragile Health Systems Around the World (Varney, 11/10/20)
In other news on abortion in Kansas —
The Washington Post:
Kansas Lawmakers Put Abortion Measure On 2022 Ballot
Kansas voters will decide next year whether the state’s constitution protects abortion rights under a ballot measure approved by the state Senate on Thursday. If approved by voters, the measure — known by its supporters as “Value Them Both” — would amend the state’s constitution to say there is no right to abortion and leave the power to regulate the procedure to the legislature, currently a Republican-leaning body that in recent years has tightened restrictions on abortions. (Gowen, 1/28)