US to revoke controversial abortion aid directive

Pro-choice protesters in Chile

In an important, but not unexpected move, the Biden administration is to revoke the policy that blocks US funding to NGOs and aid agencies that perform or promote abortions.

Anthony Fauci, who Joe Biden has chosen to head the US delegation to the World Health Organization, announced the move to a WHO board meeting earlier on Thursday.

The so-called Mexico City Policy, or “global gag rule”, was brought in by Ronald Reagan in 1984. Reflecting the deep political divisions in the US over the issue of abortion, the policy has been repealed by each Democrat, and reinstated by each Republican, administration since then.

Dr Fauci said the US was committed to supporting women and girls’ reproductive rights and sexual health in the US and around the world.