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 It was rescinded in 1993 by President Clinton, reinstated in 2001 by President George W. Bush, and once again rescinded by President Obama in 2009.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

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Advocacy Guide

EC and GGR

January 1, 2003

While family planning opponents often misrepresent emergency contraception (EC) as medical abortion, in reality, EC is the only method of post-coital contraception. The purpose of this guide is to set the record straight: emergency contraception is just that – contraception … Continue reading »

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Advocacy Guide

What You Need to Know About the Global Gag Rule and U.S. HIV/AIDS Assistance: An Unofficial Guide

August 15, 2001

The Mexico City Policy, also known as the Global Gag Rule, was reinstated in 2001. It is a complicated policy for which explanations are rarely brief. Consequently, it is widely misunderstood and often over-interpreted. Anecdotal evidence from the field strongly … Continue reading »

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