A nurse advises women on how to have a healthy pregnancy at a small health center in Lagos, Nigeria. The center is supported by the U.N. Population Fund. (Ruth McDowall/For The Washington Post)

Regarding the May 16 news article “Expansion of abortion ‘gag rule’ will restrict $8.8 billion in U.S. aid”:

The Trump administration’s action dramatically expanding the scope of the destructive “global gag rule” is horrifying. Trying to rename the policy “Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance” is dishonest.

The global gag rule doesn’t protect lives. It destroys them. As The Post reported, many anticipate this expansion will close clinics that thousands living in remote areas rely on for health care. We know how this ends, because we’ve seen the results of similar policies. It ends in closed clinics, medication shortages and needless suffering. And it leads to increases in abortion, almost all unsafe. The administration knows it, too, but did this anyway.

Let’s be clear: This policy has nothing to do with “protecting life” and everything to do with projecting ideology onto global health programs. It needs to be discarded, not expanded.

Brian Dixon, Washington

The writer is senior vice president of media and government relations with the Population Connection Action Fund.