Why It’s Time to End This Bad Abortion Policy
the US Exports Abroad
Congress can take action right now to permanently repeal the harmful global gag
rule by passing funding bills for FY 2022.
Feb 4, 2022
Vanessa Geffrard, Rewire News
Under the glow of a cell phone flashlight, I watched as the clinician inserted
the last intrauterine device. It was past 8 p.m., and as night stretched out
before us, I reflected on a ten-plus-hour day spent helping well over 100 women
who had waited all day to get an IUD, birth control, or gynecological services
at a rural village health center.
It was July 2015, and I was in Nigeria for three weeks (and Kenya for one week)
as part of the Planned Parenthood Global Youth Ambassador Fellowship Program to
witness some of Planned Parenthood Global’s work expanding sexual and
reproductive health services in communities. Demand for these services—and a
clinic staff dedicated to delivering them—was clear. These women, many of them
with their children, had traveled some distance to spend hours waiting for
sexual and reproductive health care. To provide care to everyone present, the
clinicians skipped their lunches.
by Paulina Ponce, Program Officer, Planned Parenthood Global
8 September 2021
CWRSA Blog (republished by International Campaign for Safe Abortion)
Over the past five years, Ecuador has seen marked change. For the first time in the country’s history, Ecuador’s legislature supported an earnest and public debate on the importance of decriminalizing abortion in cases of rape during the criminal code reforms in 2019, and shortly thereafter, Ecuador’s highest court ruled that to criminalize abortion in cases of rape was unconstitutional.
This life-changing court ruling opens up the possibility for all women and girls who are survivors of sexual violence to freely access an abortion, if they choose, and marks a milestone in the fight for access to legal abortion in Ecuador. Even more importantly, women’s organizations prompted a shift in the way abortion is discussed in the media, what we call the “social destigmatization” of the right to choose.
International Campaign for Safe Abortion
JUNE 25, 2021
A joint statement signed by over 200
international civil society organizations from 88 countries across six
continents was released on 22 June 2021, organized by Planned Parenthood Global
and the International Planned Parenthood Federation. Released as part of a week
of action, it calls for a permanent end to the US Global Gag Rule. The
statement, in Arabic, English, French and Spanish, demonstrates the diversity
of just some of the communities harmed by the policy over the past 37 years.
According to research released by Planned Parenthood in September 2020, 70% of
Americans favored ending the Global Gag Rule so that funding for global health
could resume without restrictions.
One analysis estimates the repeal would result in 19 million fewer unsafe abortions each year.
Wednesday, March 10, 2021
By Andrea Germanos, staff writer, Common Dreams
A group of pro-choice congresswomen launched a fresh bid this week to get rid of a policy that blocks U.S. foreign assistance funds from going to abortion care services and that its critics call a "stark example of neocolonialism."
Led by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), the group of lawmakers reintroduced on Tuesday the Abortion Is Health Care Everywhere Act, which would repeal the Helms Amendment.
23 February 2021
Sarah Kimani, SABCNews
Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare providers in Kenya have cautiously welcomed the removal of the Global Gag rule, an American policy that prohibits foreign non-governmental organisations (NGOs), who receive US global health assistance from facilitating or promoting abortion.
Also known as the Mexican City policy and first adopted by the then President Ronald Reagan’s administration in 1984, it has been repealed by every Democratic administration and reinstated by every Republican one since then.
Critics say the policy has led to deep cuts in funding for family planning
Nelly Munyasia, Womba Wanki
2 Dec 2020
On 23 January 2017, United States President Donald Trump issued an expansion of the Mexico City Policy, or “global gag rule” (GGR), last implemented under George W Bush. The GGR blocks US global health assistance to any foreign nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) that perform abortions, except in cases of rape, incest, or threat to the life of the woman; provide counselling on, or referrals for, abortion; or lobby for the liberalisation of abortion law. This stance is enforced even if the NGOs use non-US funds for these aspects of healthcare.
She Decides — a global women’s rights movement, of which we’re both members — was a direct response to the reinstatement of the GGR and its devastating effect on the lives and freedoms of women and girls. We are, therefore, encouraged by early indications that president-elect Joe Biden is expected to rescind this devastating rule as one of the new administration’s first acts.
"Study after study—including from the State Department—has demonstrated that this neocolonialist policy has inflicted a crushing blow to healthcare access for people around the world."
by Julia Conley, staff writer, Common Dreams
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Reproductive rights advocates on Tuesday warned that a newly proposed expansion of the anti-choice global gag rule will put millions at even greater risk of being unable to access healthcare including abortion care.
The U.S. State Department on Monday entered into the Federal Register a proposed policy change which would refuse global health aid through federal government contracts to foreign healthcare groups that provide abortion care or counseling.
By Caroline Kelly, CNN
Mon September 14, 2020
(CNN)The Trump administration is pushing to expand its ban on funding for foreign nonprofits that perform or promote abortions, a move that critics say could further restrict health care access around the world.
In a move that will please President Donald Trump's base, the Department of Defense, the General Services Administration and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration published the proposed rule on Monday to extend the "Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance" policy, which already encompasses global health grants and cooperative agreements, to apply to contracts. The rule already applies to the State Department, Health and Human Services, the Department of Defense and the US Agency for International Development.
By Caroline Kelly, CNN
Thu August 20, 2020
(CNN) A State Department review of the Trump administration's policy to bar funding for foreign nonprofits that perform or promote abortions found it has also affected efforts to treat tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS and to deliver nutritional assistance, among other programs, and has had significant impact in sub-Saharan Africa.
The review, published Tuesday, looks at the impact of the Trump administration's 2017 decision to reinstate the "Mexico City Policy" -- which had previously impacted only family planning assistance -- and extend it to all applicable US global health funding under the "Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance" policy.
At U.N., Trump Administration Professes 'No International Right To An Abortion'
September 23, 2019
The Trump administration is calling on U.N. member nations to oppose efforts to promote access to abortion internationally, a move immediately criticized by reproductive rights groups seeking greater access to the services globally.
At a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Monday, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar spoke on behalf of the U.S. and more than a dozen other countries stating that abortion is not an international human right.