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 It was rescinded in 1993 by President Clinton, reinstated in 2001 by President George W. Bush, and once again rescinded by President Obama in 2009.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.
Take the quiz to find out how much you know about the Global Gag Rule.
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 Gag Rule, which has proven detrimental to America's foreign policy objectives, to family planning programs in developing countries, and to women's health.
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 over again, they have distorted the facts and ignored the realities faced by the 215 million women in developing countries who do not want to become pregnant, but lack access to contraception. Congress is now trying to permanently reinstate the Global Gag Rule, using some of these same fictions. Don't be fooled. Get the facts.
PAI's research shows that the members of Congress are deeply out of touch with American voters. Despite some politicians attempts to politicize family planning, fifty seven percent support the President's decision to overturn the Global Gag Rule, including sixty-one percent of independents. In multiple other polls from the past decade and a half support for family planning consistently receives seventy-ninety percent.
For more than 40 years, the United States—through its Agency for International Development (USAID)—has been a global leader in enhancing women's access to contraceptive services in the world's poorest countries. Empowering women with control over their own fertility yields benefits for them, their children and their families. It means fewer unintended—and often high-risk—pregnancies and fewer abortions, most of which in the developing world are performed under unsafe conditions. Eliminating U.S. assistance for international family planning and reproductive health programs would eliminate all these benefits.
Funding for international family planning and reproductive health is a proven and cost-effective way to meet a broad range of international development goals. Increased access to contraception for women in developing countries is critical to improving maternal and newborn health, preventing HIV/ AIDS, and reducing unintended pregnancies and the need for abortion. Family planning programs yield improvements in other key development areas such as education, water and sanitation.
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 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.
This seven-minute video was produced by Population Action International to document the effects of the Global Gag Rule on reproductive health programs in Zambia, one of Africa's poorest countries.
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In January 2001, the U.S. government imposed restrictions on nongovernmental organizations overseas receiving international family planning assistance. The restrictions, officially called the Mexico City Policy, are also known as the Global Gag Rule by those who oppose it. Under the … Continue reading
This seven-minute video was produced by Population Action International to document the effects of the Global Gag Rule on reproductive health programs in Zambia, one of Africa’s poorest countries. Continue reading