Foundation head Melinda Gates blasted President Donald Trump for reinstituting the global "gag rule" when he took office. The policy mandates that no U.S. funding can be given to fund aid programs that mention anything about abortions.
“US funding can never go to an abortion organization, ever. That is a longstanding rule,” Gates, said as husband Bill Gates looked on during the Today Programme, The Independent quoted.
The so-called "Mexico City policy" was been expanded "very broadly," according to Gates. As a result, foreign "reproductive health organizations have to say, even if you’re not receiving government funding for abortions, you won’t even do these [abortions] in your clinic with funding, say, from the UK or from France."
She went on to call the policy "very troubling."
Gates will be co-hosting an international summit on family planning with donors in London where the goal is to raise more than $2.5 million to expand access to contraception. She called it the “most effective anti-poverty tool we have" and that 40 different developing nations are eager to participate in the initiative to obtain funding.
Trump has proposed taking funding from the UN Population Fund, which is the UN agency that works with reproductive and sexual health around the world.
“[Trump] is proposing not funding family planning and that is a huge problem,” Gates blasted. “If you believe in women, you fund family planning and so I’m counting on Congress in the US to hold up US funding on family planning.”