Topic » Global Gag Rule

The Global Gag Rule is a previous U.S. policy that harmed women’s health and ran counter to our broader U.S. foreign policy goals. The Gag Rule was first imposed by the Reagan administration at the 1984 United Nations International Conference on Population in Mexico City. It was rescinded in 1993 by President Clinton, reinstated in 2001 by President George W. Bush, and once again rescinded by President Obama in 2009.

The Gag rule denied foreign organizations receiving U.S. family planning assistance the right to use their own non-U.S. funds to provide information, referrals or services for legal abortion or advocate for the legalization abortion in their country.  Family planning providers that declined U.S. funding while the Gag Rule was in place were forced to close clinics and cut services, and some of these organiza¬tions have yet to resume services with U.S. government assistance, due to fears that their funding will once again be cut off under a future administration.

The Gag Rule 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 advocates for a permanent legislative repeal of the Gag Rule.



Why is the Kenyan constitution so important to right-wing America?

August 4, 2010

A few weeks ago, I opened my inbox to find threats of damnation and dire consequences. It was one of those emails, making the rounds in Kenya these days, filled with warnings about abortion, moral decay and a Muslim takeover … Continue reading »


Senate Committee Adopts Permanent Global Gag Rule Repeal

July 29, 2010

Senate Committee Adopts Permanent Global Gag Rule Repeal This afternoon, Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) successfully offered an amendment to permanently repeal the Global Gag Rule during the Senate Appropriations Committee’s consideration of the bill that funds the State Department and … Continue reading »

Policy Brief

How the Global Gag Rule Undermines U.S. Foreign Policy and Harms Women’s Health

June 30, 2010

Family planning opponents in the U.S. Congress and White House have long sought to place burdensome restrictions on U.S. family planning and reproductive health assistance. One such restriction is the Mexico City Policy, known to its opponents as the Global … Continue reading »



House Bill Proposes Remarkable Family Planning Funding Increase, Disappoints on Policy Change

June 30, 2010

The House State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee approved $735 million for bilateral and multilateral funding for family planning and reproductive health (FP/RH) programs during their markup of the FY 2011 appropriations bill yesterday afternoon. Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) and her subcommittee … Continue reading »


Spending Bill Boosts Family Planning Funding, But Disappoints on Permanent Gag Rule Repeal

November 11, 2009

On December 10th, the House of Representatives debated and passed an omnibus spending bill for fiscal year 2010 containing a significant funding increase for family planning and reproductive health (FP/RH) programs but which dropped a Senate amendment that would have … Continue reading »


Promising Programs Help Women in Mexico City

June 9, 2008

Christine Bixiones is a Development Associate at PAI. Mexico City, with its bustling streets, vibrant public art, and mixture of progress and need turned out to be an excellent location for an educational “tour” of a society’s public health challenges … Continue reading »


Mind the Gap: Contraceptive Stockouts in Zambia

March 12, 2008

Our car has absolutely no business driving this rocky (small boulders, really) dirt/mud road—loaded down with four passengers, no less. A sagging bridge up ahead taunts us to attempt the crossing. But we make it across in order to reach … Continue reading »


Watching Kenya Unravel

January 9, 2008

Over the last 10 days it has been difficult to read about and take in the photos documenting Kenya’s election debacle. While not an avid follower of Kenyan politics, I heard from friends and colleagues there that the 2007 election … Continue reading »


The 5th African Population Conference

December 11, 2007

Here in lush, tranquil Arusha, Tanzania, a boisterous chorus of roosters greets you far too early in the morning as if to announce, “Welcome to the 5th African Population Conference!” Team PAI is here amidst the vast coffee and tea … Continue reading »


The Global Gag Rule in the Crosshairs

November 5, 2007

Women are dying from preventable causes and the U.S. is contributing to the problem. This was the grave truth repeated at last Wednesday’s hearing before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on the Global Gag Rule (Mexico City policy)—the first … Continue reading »