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U.S. Further Restricts Aid to International Health Groups That Advocate for Abortion Access

The United States will no longer offer aid to any overseas health charity that provides or advocates for abortion access, the White House announced yesterday. The new rules expand the so-called "Mexico City policy," which Donald Trump signed two days after he entered the presidency, and which every Republican president since Ronald Reagan has enacted. (Democratic presidents have all rescinded the Mexico City policy.)

Previously, the Mexico City policy restricted family-planning funds from going to non-governmental organizations that "perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations." Now it will also apply to money that’s given by the Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the Department of Defense. The funds may now also be earmarked for other purposes, such as HIV/AIDS prevention or maternal and infant health. The changes won't reduce the amount of foreign aid the U.S. already distributes and there's an exception for disaster relief, the Guardian reports. Nevertheless, the new rules are expected to affect $8.8 billion worth of American aid, in contrast to the $60 million the Mexico City policy originally covered.