One of US President Donald Trump’s first acts in office was to sign an order tying US foreign aid to the issue of abortion.
Under the new policy, “Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance”, any foreign aid organisation that wants US funds cannot “perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in foreign countries”.
For Trump supporters, this was a major victory from a pro-life president. For opponents it was a “global gag rule”: the reinstatement of an aid and abortion policy that’s been part of the American political landscape for decades, introduced by successive Republican presidents, rescinded by Democrat administrations.
Critics have claimed Trump’s version goes far further than previous edicts extending the abortion and aid rule to a huge range of international initiatives on HIV, TB, and even advice on clean water.
The US administration has also faced allegations that far from “protecting life” the Trump policy could lead to a global increase in maternal deaths and unsafe abortions.
Sarah Spiller and Callum Macrae travelled to Mozambique in southern Africa to investigate the impacts of the new Trump policy and the questions it raises.
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