A draft executive order from the Trump administration orders government to stop funding any United Nations(UN) agency that promotes “the performance of abortion or sterilisation as a method of family planning.”
It’s one of a number of prohibitions in the order that sets up a process for reviewing all American contributions to the UN—and automatically eliminating many others.
Also on the chopping block is “any United Nations affiliate or other international organisation that grants full membership to the Palestinian Authority or the Palestinian Liberation Organisation”; any organisation “substantially influenced by any state that sponsors terrorism”; and any group circumventing sanctions against North Korea or Iran.
The gist of the order was first reported by The New York Times.
The draft order, if enacted, would be a significant expansion on the so-called Global Gag Rule, which was first implemented by Ronald Reagan in 1984, overturned during every Democratic administration, and reinstated and expanded by Donald Trump this week.
The Global Gag Rule only restricts usage of federal funding to organisations that do not promote (or even mention) abortion. Trump’s draft order goes further to include sterilisation, a crucial medical procedure for women in a world where an estimated 300,000 women die during childbirth annually.
The United Nations Population Fund is one of several UN organisations that would receive a “special review of funding” under the draft order. UNFPA states as its aim “a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.”
The organisation fights against child marriage, female genital mutilation, and maternal death. In addition, the UNFPA has played a role in assuring that pregnant women fleeing conflict are able to safely give birth.