Today, President Trump (I gag every time) signed a few executive orders, including US withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a federal government hiring freeze (with military exception), and the reinstitution of the Mexico City Policy. The Mexico City Policy was first introduced by President Reagan, has been supported or reestablished by all Republican Presidents since, and rescinded by all Democrat Presidents.
The policy prohibits any international family planning charities from receiving federal funding unless they agree not to perform or promote abortion services. Promoting abortion services includes providing patients with information about the procedure or referring patients to providers who perform it. Funding is rescinded whether or not the funds are actually used for abortions, unlike the controversial Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funding from being directly used for abortions but does not prohibit funding altogether.This move — the activation or deactivation of the policy — usually comes on or around the anniversary of the Roe v Wade Supreme Court decision, which is coincidentally right around the time of Presidential inaugurations. This time around, the policy renewal comes just two days after the Women’s March, an international effort that focused on women’s rights and equality. It’s unfortunate that the first Presidential action dealing with women’s rights after the protests is one that restricts women’s access to abortion counseling or services, limiting their choices when it comes to family planning medical care.
This executive order is a clear message to Americans that President Trump will not be swayed by protests, however large or widespread they are, even when they happen to be much larger in crowd size than his own inauguration.