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 It was rescinded in 1993 by President Clinton, reinstated in 2001 by President George W. Bush, and once again rescinded by President Obama in 2009.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.



President’s Budget Calls for Increased Investments in International Family Planning

February 14, 2011

President Obama’s fiscal year 2012 budget request for international family planning and reproductive health (FP/RH) takes another significant step toward addressing the contraceptive needs of millions of women and men in developing nations. The Obama administration is proposing $769.1 million … Continue reading »

Press Release

PAI Condemns Cuts to Contraception

February 11, 2011

For Immediate Release Statement from Population Action International on the Proposed House Republican FY2011 Continuing Resolution by Craig Lasher, Director of US Government Relations “The cuts to international family planning are extreme and out of touch with the views of … Continue reading »

Advocacy Guide

Eight Facts About the Global Gag Rule

February 11, 2011

Ever since the Global Gag Rule (also known as the Mexico City Policy) was first introduced in 1984, conservative U.S. politicians have used abortion politics in the U.S. to block access to contraceptives for women in developing countries. Over and … Continue reading »



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 »