US Senate is to review a funding bill that if passed would mitigate the effects President Trump’s Gag Rule has on women’s sexual and reproductive health worldwide.
Senator Jeanne Shaheen has amended the Foreign Operations Funding Bill so that it would restore funding cut by President Trump and permanently repeal the Global Gag Rule – a U.S. government policy that blocks U.S. federal funding for non-governmental organisations that provide abortion counselling or referrals, advocate to decriminalise abortion, or expand abortion services.
“My amendment will preserve and restore funding levels for international organizations that help to prevent over fifty million unintended pregnancies around the world, and reduce the number of maternal deaths we see from those accessing unsafe abortions when the lack of family planning leaves them without options,” explains Senator Shaheen.
Importantly, the language of the bill replaces that which was originally taken from – and codifies – the Global Gag Rule with that from the progressive Global Health, Empowerment, and Rights (HER) Act – a policy Senators Jeanne Shaheen snd Susan Collins introduced a day after the Global Gag Rule was reinstated, with support from Democrat and Republican senators.
The amended legislation means the Senate now has the opportunity to counter the Global Gag Rule and remedy the devastating effects the policy has on women globally. Population Matters welcomes the amendments to the bill and supports the continued efforts to counter the effects of the Global Gag Rule.
Population Matters opposes the decision by the Trump administration to ban all US overseas aid to organisations which provide abortion or information about it. This decision hits hardest communities and countries where family planning saves lives and helps lift people out of poverty.
Population Matters is one of more than 230 organisations worldwide to support a statement backing the She Decides initiative. We have also joined more than 400 development, social justice, women’s rights and family planning organisations in signing a joint statement condemning the reinstatement of the gag rule. You can help by joining our campaign today.