This week, House and Senate appropriators are marking up funding bills with very different visions for international family planning. In the House, the draft committee bill includes language to reinstate the dangerous Global Gag Rule—a policy that bans foreign organizations from doing anything related to abortion (performing them, counseling women, referring to other providers, advocating for legalization) with their own money, as a condition of receiving U.S family planning assistance. In the Senate, supporters will adopt an amendment in committee to legislatively repeal this harmful policy for good.
The Gag Rule has been a blight on the international family planning movement for 30 years. As you’ll see from the video above, PAI has fought the Gag Rule from the start, documenting its impact on family planning programs during the Reagan and both Bush administrations, and supporting reproductive health champions in Congress to push for its demise. This week, PAI and more than 30 other organizations have signed a letter to Senate appropriators supporting the Shaheen amendment, which would permanently repeal the Gag Rule.
Watch the video to hear from two people who know the Gag Rule all too well—Director of U.S. Government Relations Craig Lasher, who has worked at PAI since 1981 and witnessed all 30 years of the policy; and Senior International Advocacy Advisor Wendy Turnbull, who led PAI’s Global Gag Rule Impact Project during the second Bush administration.