The US president has signed an executive order overturning a ban on funding abortion overseas.
President Joe Biden has rescinded the “Mexico City policy” which former president Donald Trump used to ban the federal government from giving money to organizations that perform abortions abroad or advocate for its legalization.
Biden called the Mexico City policy an “attack on women’s health access” as his administration announced the widely-anticipated move.
A White House statement issued today said Mr Biden made the change to “support women’s and girls’ sexual and reproductive health and rights in the United States, as well as globally”.
The policy has been a constant source of controversy since it was first enacted in 1984 by Ronald Reagan, with Republican presidents supporting it and Democrat presidents rescinding its provisions.
NGO’s performing abortions reportedly lost $153m in 2017 because of Mr. Trump’s implementation of the Mexico City policy, according to the US Government Accountability Office.
Mr Biden has also indicated he will provide Title X funding to abortion-providers, in another reversal of his predecessor’s attempt to strip organisations like Planned Parenthood of access to taxpayer’s money.
The new president is also set to withdraw the US from the Geneva Consensus, a declaration signed by some 30 countries opposed to abortion.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki had previously declined to comment on whether Mr Biden would reverse the Mexico City policy, instead noting that he was “a devout Catholic.”
“I will just take the opportunity to remind all of you that he is a devout Catholic and somebody who attends church regularly. He started his day attending church with his family this morning,” she said.
The Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funding of abortions in all cases except for rape and incest, is reported to be next on the Democratic Party’s agenda, as they attempt to overturn the longstanding provision which Mr. Biden supported up until 2019.