30 Years of the Global Gag Rule

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The Global Gag Rule is a U.S. health policy that prohibited funding to foreign aid organizations that provided abortion services. The Gag Rule was first imposed by the Reagan administration in 1984. It was rescinded in 1993 by President Clinton, reinstated in 2001 by President George W. Bush, and once again rescinded by President Obama in 2009. It will inevitably be reinstated by the next Republican administration.

The GGR hurts women by allowing critical programs to be held hostage to the ping-pong game of U.S. partisan politics. A majority of Americans from across the ideological spectrum support the current Administration’s policy that does not impose such ideological restrictions on women’s health centers.

PAI has many resources for learning more about the effects of the Global Gag Rule:

  • Our short documentary, 30 Years is Enough, showcases the destructive 30-year history of the Global Gag Rule.
  • Our Global Gag Rule media kit contains background information and resources for reporters writing about the Global Gag Rule.
  • Our Global Gag Rule timeline documents the legislative battles around the reinstatement and rescinding of the Gag Rule with every new administration.
  • Access Denied was a project PAI led to document the effects of the Global Gag Rule in the countries it effected most. You can find country-specific reports here, and you can watch the Access Denied documentary here.
  • Our policy brief explains how the Global Gag Rule undermines U.S. foreign policy and harms women’s health.