US president Donald Trump has announced broader restrictions on funding for foreign aid organisations that assist with the provision of abortions.
In a new “expanded” policy unveiled on Monday, the Trump administration said it would apply the regulations of the controversial Mexico City Policy to “international health programs”, such as “those for HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health, malaria, global health security, and family planning and reproductive health”.
Previously, the Mexico City Policy had only been applied to family planning organisations that focused on contraceptives and maternal health. The policy will now affect approximately US$8.8 billion in funds, though Administration officials said it was too early to determine which international organizations will lose access to funds due a refusal to comply.
The Department of State emphasised the policy “does not reduce the amount of global health assistance the US Government makes available”.
Pro-life lobbyists praised the new policy, saying that it would ensure that foreign aid was “well-spent”. “No longer will we undermine the pro-life laws and cultural commitments of other countries by funding organizations…that obsessively promote and perform abortion”, Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, said in a statement.
Others are concerned that the restrictions will cripple programs such the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), an initiative that has for the past decade helped provide HIV/AIDS counselling, medication, and treatment around the world.
Saturday, May 20, 2017
The Economist is the world’s best news magazine. Its stylish, intelligent and well-informed coverage has made it the Bible of the global elite. “I used to think. Now I just read The Economist,” the former CEO of Oracle, Larry Ellison, once said.
Part of its appeal is its ideological consistency. Ever since 1843 The Economist has argued that aim of public policy should be to promote the market economy as the best way of achieving prosperity and democracy. A light touch of government regulation is needed only to ensure fairness and legal certainty. Thus it embodies the “classical 19th-century Liberal ideas” which made Britain, and later the United States, a bulwark of capitalism.
Whatever the merits of this ideology in framing public policy for economics and finance, it is ill-suited to questions of personal behaviour.
In principle The Economist supports all autonomous action which is either harmless (in its view) or profitable. Hence, in recent years it has thrown its considerable prestige behind campaigns for the legalisation and regulation of drugs, pornography, prostitution, euthanasia, and same-sex marriage.
And this month it has taken up cudgels in favour of an international market in surrogate mothers and babies. “Carrying a child for someone else should be celebrated—and paid”, is the defiant headline of its editorial. Given the magazine’s influence, this is a significant development. What do you think of it?
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