When it comes to sending U.S. aid to poor countries, every Republican president from Ronald Reagan through Donald Trump has imposed a rule: Foreign aid groups are prohibited from getting U.S. assistance for family planning unless they promise not to “perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning.” That includes providing patients with referrals or information about the procedure, even if those activities are funded by non-U.S. government sources. (Trump’s version of the funding ban has gone even further — applying to aid for virtually all global health services, not just family planning.)
Opponents of abortion rights have long advocated for the ban — known as the Mexico City policy after the city where it was first announced in 1984 — on the grounds that it ensures that U.S. taxpayer dollars are not used even indirectly to fund abortions overseas.
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