Pompeo expands ban on US aid for abortion-related services

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expanding a ban on U.S. aid to groups that promote or provide abortions.

Pompeo says he’s extended the ban to organizations that comply with the rule but give money to others that don’t. He says the Trump administration will not allow American taxpayer money to pay for “back-door funding schemes.”

He says he’s also reducing assistance to the Organization of America States for allegedly lobbying for abortion availability. It wasn’t immediately clear how much would be cut.

Critics of the policy that has been a hallmark of recent Republican administrations call it the “global gag rule.” They say it hurts reproductive and maternal health care in developing nations. Pompeo denied that and said the U.S. would continue to be a leader in such aid.

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