In the first week of his presidency, President Obama overturned the Global Gag Rule. The policy restricted foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) receiving U.S. funding from using their own, non-US funds to provide legal abortion services, advocate for abortion law reform, or provide accurate medical counseling or referrals regarding abortion.
Although President Obama’s repeal means that the Gag Rule is not currently in effect, there is nothing to prevent a future president from reinstating it through an executive order. The impact of the policy has been felt by women all over the world and undermines U.S. investments in global health and democracy.
The Global Democracy Promotion Act (H.R. 4879/S. 311), introduced by Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), would create a permanent, legislative barrier to attempts by a future administration to re-instate the Gag Rule. The measure is necessary to ensure that U.S.-funded organizations can continue to deliver lifesaving information and services that meet the needs of women and families around the world.
For the past 25 years, the rights and welfare of women throughout the world have been dependent on who is sitting in the White House – and with your leadership that can change.
The Global Democracy Promotion Act (HR 4879/ S 311), introduced by Rep. Lowey (D-NY) in the House and Sen. Boxer (D-CA) in the Senate would end this cruel uncertainty by barring future administrations from unilaterally imposing the Global Gag Rule.
The Gag Rule is a matter of life and death for women and young people around the world. Eliminating access to critical reproductive health information and services, results in millions of unintended pregnancies, and the needless deaths of thousands from pregnancy-related complications every year, including by unsafe abortions.
I care deeply about ensuring that women have access to the tools and information they need to protect their health and exercise their rights. I urge you to cosponsor and support efforts to move the Global Democracy Promotion Act. Doing so will help ensure that women worldwide have access to the full range of information and services they need to live a just and healthy life.