To the editor: Thank you for your excellent editorial on the deleterious effects of the Trump administration's expanded version of the "global gag rule," which prohibits U.S. government support to any organization overseas that counsels women about abortion. ("Trump's new global gag rule will devastate healthcare in poor countries," editorial, May 22)
However, the global gag rule has one other insidious provision: It cuts off funding for anyone in a poor country who seeks to raise awareness about or liberalize their nation's abortion laws, no matter how draconian. Six countries still refuse abortions to girls or women under any circumstances, even if it is to save their lives. Many other countries allow abortions only if a woman's life is endangered, but not if her health is jeopardized.
By reimposing the global gag rule, the U.S. government undermines global efforts to decriminalize abortions for girls and women in dire need.
Paula Tavrow, Pasadena
The writer is director of the Bixby Program in Population and Reproductive Health at UCLA's Fielding School of Public Health.