ActionAid Women's Rights Campaign Manager Sarah Carson said: "When Theresa May meets Donald Trump tomorrow, she must use her influence to stand in solidarity with the millions of women and girls around the world who live in fear and violence.
"By deciding to reinstate the so-called ‘Global Gag Rule,’ President Trump is attacking women’s rights and access to sexual and reproductive health care around the world.
"The restriction of U.S. government funding to organisations working on women’s health issues means that many women will lose access to a wide range of health programs, as information on safe abortion is one of the many services offered along with access to contraception, routine screenings and child vaccinations by U.S. government funded health clinics around the world. Under the new rules organisations won’t be eligible for government funding, if they use any of their funding from non-US federal government sources to provide abortion information, advice or services. Some be forced to refuse to provide basic information on safe abortion, meaning women and girls will have nowhere to turn to for help.
"If they continue to do so they won’t be eligible for government funding, if they use any of their funding from non-US federal government sources to provide abortion information, advice or services.
"Hundreds of thousands of women around the world depend on this information so that they can make informed decisions about their health – decisions that often prove life-saving. Many organisations and the women they serve, depend on US funding in order to save lives. In 2008, an estimated 47,000 deaths were the result of unsafe abortion, accounting for almost 13% of all maternal deaths. This is both preventable and unacceptable.
"The decision to roll-back support for women’s rights activists and organisations working on sexual reproductive health and rights will increase the belief that direct and indirect attacks on women’s rights activists and organisations are legitimate. Across the world violence is used to control women’s sexual activity and choices about whether and when to have children, with devastating consequences for their sexual and reproductive health and rights. The denial of women’s access to sexual and reproductive health, including the restriction on access to safe abortions is a form of violence in itself.
"We call upon Prime Minster Theresa May to bring this, and other critical women’s rights issues, to the table when she meets Donald Trump."
ActionAid has spokespeople available for interview on women’s rights and why we believe our Prime Minister must take a stand against Trump. Please call 07716 178114 to arrange.