DC Digest – May 16, 2017
OFFICE OF GOVERNMENT RELATIONS
- Mexico City Policy Expansion
- 21st Century Cures Funding
TRUMP EXPANDS GLOBAL BAN ON NGO FUNDING TIED TO ABORTIONS
The Trump administration has expanded the so-called global gag rule that bans US funding for international health programs which provide abortions or abortion counseling. The current rule, also known as the Mexico City policy, prohibits the use of US family planning dollars for foreign aid groups that provide or promote abortions.
Under the new policy, organizations that perform other health-related work and happen to support abortions — for example, a foreign NGO that does sexual health education to prevent the spread of HIV and also informs women that abortion is legal in the country — could see the whole of their US health funding disappear.
SENATORS URGE TRUMP TO SECURE 21ST C. CURES FUNDING
Eleven Democratic senators have just sent a letter to President Trump urging him to reconsider his proposed 18 percent cut to HHS funding. The proposed cuts will significantly scale back the department’s ability to implement the 21st Century Cures Act, a bipartisan law passed at the end of 2016.
“The 21st Century Cures Act invests in tackling our hardest-to-treat diseases, commits real dollars to the fight against the opioid epidemic, makes badly-needed changes to mental health care, and ensures that investments in research will benefit all Americans,” they write. The senators say slashing the health department’s budget will jeopardize that work.