“Women’s health and rights are now one of the first casualties of the Trump administration.”

In a move which has devastated women’s rights activists, newly instated President, Donald Trump has restored a global gag order rule banning US-funded groups around the world from discussing abortion.

The gag order, called the ‘Mexico City Policy’, was originally announced by President Reagan in 1984, and requires nongovernmental groups to agree to “neither perform nor actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations,” as a condition to receiving any federal funding. President Obama lifted the ban when he took office in 2009.

The order applies even if abortion is legal where the group is working, and even if they use separate money for abortion services.

The move comes just two days after over one million people marched in cities across the world to protest Trump and show support for women’s rights, including safe abortion access. And unsurprisingly, the news has not been received well by women’s activists.

“Women’s health and rights are now one of the first casualties of the Trump administration,” said president of the Centre for Health and Gender Equity in Washington, Serra Sippel.

“The global gag rule has been associated with an increase in unsafe abortions, and we expect that Trump’s global gag rule will cost women their lives.”

Globally, around 47,000 women die as a result of unsafe abortions every year, and because the US government is one of the largest donors to global health and aid programs, the gag order is likely to have a profound impact on this already horrifying number.

The newly reinstated policy puts groups that provide women’s health care in a difficult position, according to Population Connection Action Fund spokesperson, Brian Dixon.

“They can either accept the restriction to keep their funding, or they can reject the restriction and lose their funding. Either choice hurts the women that rely on them.”

Images via shutterstock and twitter.com.

Comment: What’s your reaction to the abortion gag order?