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June 21, 2021 / Press Releases

NARAL Pro-Choice America Urges Congress to Permanently End the Global Gag Rule


Washington, DC – This week, a coalition of reproductive health, rights, and justice groups joined forces for a week of action in support of permanently ending the global gag rule. It is critical that Congress take action to ensure that the harmful global gag rule—an anti-choice policy that prevents organizations that receive U.S. global health assistance from using their own, private funds for abortion care, information, referrals, and advocacy—remains a shameful relic of the past.

NARAL Pro-Choice America Acting President Adrienne Kimmell released the following statement:

“The global gag rule harms pregnant people and families around the world. It forces organizations that receive global health assistance from the United States to choose between keeping their doors open and providing comprehensive reproductive healthcare, including abortion care. Anti-choice politicians have long weaponized global assistance to export their out-of-touch ideological agenda overseas, but Congress has the opportunity to end this draconian policy for good. Every body deserves access to the care they need—and ending the global gag rule is a key step toward ensuring that is a reality for pregnant people and their families around the world.”

In January, President Joe Biden rescinded the global gag rule as part of a series of executive orders advancing reproductive freedom. While this was a crucial step in the right direction, it is up to Congress to permanently end the global gag rule and prevent this anti-choice policy from being reinstated by anti-choice administrations in the future. Congress has the opportunity to permanently end the global gag rule by including language in its federal appropriations bills to ensure that organizations that receive U.S. global health assistance are not prohibited from providing abortion care, counseling, or referrals.

The global gag rule blocks global assistance funding to overseas healthcare providers unless they agree not to use their own, non-U.S. funds for abortion services, counseling, or even to take a public position in support of reproductive freedom. Since 1984, Republican presidents have used the policy to impose an anti-choice agenda overseas. Under the Trump administration, however, the global gag rule was expanded to further block access to critical care.

We must ensure that global assistance funding supports comprehensive reproductive healthcare, including abortion care. Congress must include language permanently ending the global gag rule in federal appropriations bills and ensure that future presidents cannot undo critical advancements for reproductive freedom around the world by reinstating this harmful anti-choice policy.

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For over 50 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates and chapters have fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom—including access to abortion, contraception, and paid family leave—for every body. NARAL is powered by its more than 2.5 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 7 in 10 Americans who believe every person should have the freedom to make the best decision for themselves about if, when, and how to raise a family.

Everyone should be able to decide if, when, how, and with whom they start or grow a family.

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