The Trump administration is touting its Mexico City policy that bans federal aid to organizations that perform or promote abortions, saying refusal to award tax dollars to those groups has not significantly affected women’s access to health care.
President Trump implemented the Mexico City Policy in 2017 after the Obama administration had rolled it back.
The political football has gone back and forth between Democratic and Republican presidents for several administrations. It essentially places a gag rule on non-government groups internationally that receive U.S. funds, banning them from providing or discussing abortion.
The report issued by the State Department found that most awards to global non-governmental organizations that agreed not to perform or promote abortions have not experienced a disruption or delay in health care services.
“USAID found that, in a few cases, a declination resulted in some impact on the delivery of health care, including for HIV/AIDS, voluntary family planning/reproductive health, tuberculosis, and nutrition programming,” the report noted.
For example, three of six prime award recipients did report some disruption in the supply of health care.
But the administration noted most organizations did not experience problems related to the administration’s policy.
“There has been a minimal disruption in health care,” a senior administration official told reporters. “Principled pro-life policies can exist hand in hand with … quality health care.”
HHS Secretary Alex Azar said the U.S. remains the world’s largest supporter of global health initiatives, while also implementing protections for human life.
“HHS is leading the Trump administration’s work to build a coalition of nations, representing more than 1 billion people, to push back against international efforts to undermine the sanctity of life and the family,” Mr. Azar said. “As the most pro-life administration in American history, we will continue standing up for life around the world.”