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New Grant Funding to Accelerate Health and Nutrition Gains in Five Additional Global Financing Facility Partner Countries

[Washington, DC, June 6, 2023] — Today, in collaboration with the Global Civil Society Coordinating Group (CSCG) Steering Committee, the GFF NGO Host at PAI announced a second round of grants designed to support civil society organizations (CSOs) and youth-led organizations (YLOs) in implementing the Global Financing Facility’s (GFF) Civil Society and Youth Engagement Framework. This small grants funding mechanism, supported by the World Bank, aims to accelerate health and nutrition gains for women, children and adolescents. 

The GFF NGO Host disbursed $380,322 to nine organizations in this second round of grant funding — including two based in Guatemala, one each in Indonesia and Pakistan, three in Mauritania and two in Uganda. Earlier this year, 14 CSOs based in Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Senegal and Zambia received $969,678 in round one awards. Cumulatively, 23 CSOs and YLOs in 13 GFF partner countries have received $1.35 million through the GFF NGO Host in rounds one and two. 

Established in 2015, the GFF supports 36 low- and lower-middle-income countries with catalytic financing and technical assistance to scale up access to affordable, quality health care for women, children and adolescents. While many governments around the world have increased their commitment to strengthening primary health care, health system gaps remain. Engaging CSOs and YLOs at all levels helps bridge that gap, enabling countries to achieve their goals to advance health and rights for all.  

Nearly half of round two grantees are using the funding to equip young people with the tools they need to advocate for improved sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health and nutrition (SRMNCAH-N), including tools that are developed by youth themselves. Projects range from better supporting Indigenous youth to advocate for improved policies in Guatemala to strengthening strategic nutrition communications in Indonesia and engaging the private sector in Mauritania.  

Youth Association for Development (YAD) in Pakistan, one of the recent awardees, says the funding will help with “fostering an enabling environment and stronger movement for effective policy, planning, accountability, financing and budget allocation — which will [help] children, youth, women and adolescents to exercise their health and sexual and reproductive health,” explained Atta ul Haq Khaderzai of YAD, adding, “The project ultimately brings outcomes and impact, in terms of reducing the alarmingly high rate of maternal mortality and reducing the infant mortality rate.”

Meanwhile, Benilda Batzin, executive director of Centro de Estudios para la Equidad y Gobernanza en los Sistemas de Salud (CEGSS) noted that the funds “will be able to support the work of citizen monitoring carried out by young Indigenous people … and will facilitate youth to have a voice and active participation in the improvement of the Guatemalan health system.” 

PAI, a leading civil society advocacy organization dedicated to advancing universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) across the globe for nearly 60 years, has been administering this GFF initiative. In addition to supporting the small grants mechanism as the GFF NGO Host since May 2022, PAI is providing strategic, technical and institutional capacity-building support to grant partners and the CSCG — a network of 570 civil society and youth advocacy organizations — and fostering learning and exchange opportunities across and among CSO and YLO advocates. 

The third and final round of grants for advancing SRMNCAH-N will total $1.35 million and will be awarded to CSOs and YLOs based in GFF countries that were not included in the first two rounds. Grant partners for the next round of Engagement Grants and Global Goods Grants will be selected from the pool of organizations that have already submitted an Expression of Interest (EOI). The GFF NGO Host is not accepting new EOIs. 

Name  Country  Project Description 
Centro de Estudios para la Equidad y Gobernanza en los Sistemas de Salud (CEGSS)  Guatemala  Equipping young, Indigenous health activists with the tools to monitor SRMNCAH-N policies and services in order to engage with authorities and educate Indigenous youth about their health and rights and to effectively advocate for better access to quality health care. 
Paz Joven Guatemala  Guatemala  Creating a tool built by young people, for young people, to help train different actors and sectors on the behavior change process and education in SRHR. 
Center for Indonesia’s Strategic Development Initiatives (CISDI)  Indonesia  Incorporating community voices to shape action on health advocacy, formulate policy recommendations and deliver strategic communication, with an emphasis on nutrition. 
Youth Association for Development (YAD)  Pakistan  Increasing engagement among partnership members, citizens, government officials and other stakeholders to formulate and implement policies, improve resource mobilization and increase budget allocations for SRMNCAH-N in Balochistan province. 
Association des Jeunes aux Services de Rosso (AJSR)  Mauritania  Developing a tool for SRMNCAH-N associations to improve operations and help mobilize financing from the private sector for GFF activities. 
Association des Gestionnaires pour le Développement (AGD)  Mauritania  Promoting the capacity building of CSOs, maintaining an officially constituted coalition committed to national health policies, and ensuring meaningful participation of adolescents and young people. 
Association Mauritanienne d’Aides aux Malades Indigents (AMAMI)  Mauritania  Influencing the Mauritanian government to increase budget allocations to nutrition, along with monitoring and implementing the country’s health policies and strategies. 
Naguru Youth Health Network (NYHN)  Uganda  Improving health outcomes for adolescents and young people in Uganda by developing the GFF Youth Capacity Assessment Tool (GYCAT) to build capacity and improve youth understanding and engagement with country- and global-level GFF processes. 
Faith for Family Health Initiative (3FHi)  Uganda  Developing a guide to equip agencies and CSOs with the tactics for mobilizing and engaging SRMNCAH-N champions to advocate for better health and well-being for the communities they serve. 

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ABOUT THE GFF NGO HOST AT PAI

The GFF NGO Host and associated Civil Society GFF Resource and Engagement Hub are multiyear initiatives to amplify and support CSOs and coalitions to contribute to GFF partner country outcomes for SRMNCAH-N. Learn more about the GFF-PAI collaboration.

ABOUT PAI

PAI is a leading civil society advocacy organization dedicated to advancing universal access to SRHR across the globe. For nearly 60 years, PAI has served as a credible source of information, a strong ally to in-country partners, and an unrelenting advocate for improved and expanded SRHR at the national, regional and global levels. PAI works to advance its mission by propelling evidence-informed advocacy strategies in the United States and globally and supporting in-country CSO partners across nearly 40 low- and middle-income countries to advocate for increased access to sexual and reproductive health services and expand SRHR for all. To learn more, visit pai.org.

[Washington, DC, March 20, 2023] – Today, Peruvian NGO Prisma was named the new South America regional hub for the Community of Practitioners on Accountability and Social Action in Health (COPASAH), a network of advocates and social accountability practitioners in the global south advancing health rights and equity. PAI, a leader in championing sexual and reproductive health and rights globally, and COPASAH jointly awarded Prisma $50,000 to support their role and work ahead.

COPASAH supports more than 1,000 individuals and civil society organizations (CSOs) with technical assistance and resources that enable citizens—particularly women, youth and at-risk communities—to have a meaningful voice and hold their governments accountable when it comes to health policy and services.  COPASAH’s regional hubs similarly lead social accountability efforts tailored to the local context in which they work.

“Prisma is proud to collaborate with COPASAH and PAI to support South American practitioners’ efforts to propel health rights and enhance accountability within health systems,” said Marilú Chiang, Executive Director of PRISMA. “With this critical funding, PRISMA will have an even greater impact across the region.”

COPASAH was established in 2021 and consists of a Global Secretariat and West Africa hub based in Nigeria and regional hubs for Asia, Central America and the Caribbean, East Africa, Eastern and Southern Europe and South America respectively based in India, Guatemala, Macedonia, Uganda and Peru. The South America hub has a particularly strong focus on community monitoring of the health rights of Indigenous communities. With more than 36 years of experience establishing strategic partnerships with rural Indigenous community leaders, Prisma is well positioned to advance the hub’s efforts to hold governments responsible for their commitments to communities across the continent.

“I congratulate and commend Prisma for being selected to host the COPASAH South America hub. We look forward to working with them to strengthen health sector accountability and engage various practitioners, advocates, and civil society leaders—leading to bottom-up accountability processes,” said Aminu Magashi Garba, Global Co-convener at COPASAH’s Global Secretariat in Abuja, Nigeria. “Prisma brings unique expertise in coordination, networking, and using accountability tools to bring positive change in health in South America.”

PAI has supported the COPASAH network since 2020 to improve sexual and reproductive health outcomes at local, regional, and national levels by developing and implementing effective, inclusive, and coordinated social accountability initiatives.

“PAI’s partnership with COPASAH and its regional hubs reflects our commitment to ensuring the global SRHR movement is led by bold, diverse local voices working to improve the health and lives of their community members,” said Nabeeha Kazi Hutchins, President and CEO of PAI. “The work of COPASAH is urgent, especially in this time when citizen-driven accountability and engagement are required to achieve desired health outcomes and sustain them. Prisma’s track record as a convener, technical expert, trusted partner and advocate ensures strong regional leadership to achieve health equity and progress for all communities.”

About Prisma

Prisma is a Peruvian NGO that designs and implements innovative research studies and projects to enhance the capabilities of, and improve access to opportunities for, vulnerable people, contributing towards the attainment of a more inclusive society and sustainable development. Prisma began its work in 1986 with a multidisciplinary group of professionals intent on reversing Peru’s high rates of chronic child malnutrition and the associated risk factors. Over 30 years of experience and innovations with a comprehensive approach to development have expanded Prisma’s scope to eight areas of action and paved the way for international expansion into Latin America and Africa.

About COPASAH
COPASAH is a community where practitioners who share an interest and passion for the field of community monitoring for accountability in health interact regularly and engage in exchanging experiences and lessons; sharing resources, capacities, and methods; in the production and dissemination of conceptual, methodological and practical outputs towards strengthening the field; and in networking and capacity building among member organizations. COPASAH is organized across six regional hubs managed by the Africa Health Budget Network; Anusandhan Trust; Association for Emancipation, Solidarity and Equality of Women; Center for Health, Human Rights and Development; Centro de Estudios para Equidad y Gobernanza en Sistemas de Salud; and Prisma. This Community of practitioners was established as result of a three day ‘Practitioners Convening on Community Monitoring for Accountability in Health‘ organized by the Accountability and Monitoring in Health Initiative (AMHI) of the Open Society Institute’s Public Health Program in July 2011 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

About PAI

PAI is a leading civil society advocacy organization dedicated to advancing universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) across the globe. For nearly 60 years, PAI has served as a credible source of information, a strong ally to in-country partners and an unrelenting advocate for improved and expanded SRHR at the country, regional and global levels. PAI works to achieve its mission by propelling evidence-informed advocacy strategies globally and supporting in-country CSO partners across nearly 40 low- and middle-income countries to advocate for increased access to sexual and reproductive health services and expand SRHR for all. To learn more, visit pai.org.

Washington, DC, February 27, 2023] – Today,  PAI announced the recipients of the first round of grants to civil society organizations (CSOs) and youth-led organizations (YLOs) that will contribute to the implementation of the Global Financing Facility (GFF) Civil Society and Youth Engagement Framework. The funding will support CSO and YLO efforts to advance the health of women, children, and adolescents.

Through a competitive and transparent process, US$969,678 in grants were awarded to 14 CSOs and YLOs in eight sub-Saharan Africa countries supported by the GFF – Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Senegal, and Zambia. This funding, channeled through a World Bank project, aims to further strengthen CSO and youth organizations to accelerate health and nutrition gains for women, children and adolescents.

Many governments around the world have increased their commitments to strengthening primary health care and advancing universal health coverage to improve the health of women, children, and adolescents. However, health systems in many low and middle-income countries are not operating optimally to meet the basic health needs of the communities they serve.

In partnership with civil society leaders across Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean, PAI supports and collaborates with CSOs and YLOs in GFF partner countries.  Building on nearly 60 years of experience, PAI is providing awardees with financial grants, strategic advocacy support, capacity strengthening, technical assistance and other resources. The goal is to enable a strong and resilient network of health champions who deeply understand community needs and opportunities that can deliver better and more equitable access to quality health services for all.

“For nearly six decades, and in partnership with our civil society peers and partners, PAI has been steadfast in advocating for the health and rights of communities around the world,” said Nabeeha Kazi Hutchins, President & CEO of PAI. She added, “The investment from the GFF and this recent round of grant support will enable 14 truly dynamic CSOs and YLOs to better expand, connect, and fortify a global network of advocates who are working to ensure that essential healthcare is funded, delivered and sustained for the long-term.”

The role of CSOs and YLOs is crucial in ensuring that country investment cases supported by the GFF are evidence-based, aligned with country health priorities and reflective of the needs of women, children, and adolescents, especially in hard-to-reach and excluded communities.

“Supporting civil society and youth-led organizations is vital to ensure health systems respond to the needs of the women, children and adolescents they serve,” said Luc Laviolette, Head of GFF Secretariat. “The grants announced today will support civil society to ensure that the most hard-to-reach communities have a say in shaping health investments to drive equitable health outcomes.”

With this funding, the selected partner organizations will ensure the inclusion of community voices and evidence that enables them to strengthen the quality and monitoring of SRMNCAH+N services, while better engaging with policymakers and relevant GFF stakeholders. Advocates will also disseminate knowledge products and resources to community members—including youth, migrants, and women—that explain how civil society, youth networks and coalitions can advance sexual and reproductive rights and universal access to primary health services through the GFF-supported multistakeholder country platform.

“Organisation pour de Nouvelles Initiatives en Développement et Santé (ONIDS) is committed to delivering on smart project goals,” said Cécile Thiombiano Yougbaré, President of ONIDS in Burkina Faso. “We feel empowered being part of a dynamic and sustained partnership that builds on a global movement to strengthen ambitious initiatives at the country and local levels.”

The support will also help CSOs and YLOs to drive community awareness and demand for essential health services including across the SRMNCAH+N spectrum, as well as capacity and coalition building.   For example, in Ethiopia, grant partner Fiker Behiwot Children & Youth Development Association (FBCYDA) is focused on helping migrant youth make informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health.  FBCYDA project coordinator, Dagem Assefa, said that the grant will help them expand access to quality SHR information at Hawassa University and in high schools.

“Existing innovative approaches will be expanded to address domestic migrant youth and student sexual and reproductive health challenges and ensure sustainability,” said Assefa. “In addition, [this support will] strengthen organizational sustainability and increase youth capacity to address various community problems…as a center of youth-led, youth-based, and youth-focused civil society.”

PAI is currently reviewing applications received for the second round of grants and will notify awardees by March 30, 2023. A third round of grants will soon be announced through PAI, partner websites, as well as the Civil Society Coordinating Group (CSCG) and other platforms. The full list of grant awardees from this first round of grants can be found below and at GFF CSO Grant Partners.

ABOUT PAI

PAI is a leading civil society advocacy organization dedicated to advancing universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) across the globe. For nearly 60 years, PAI has served as a credible source of information, a strong ally to in-country partners and an unrelenting advocate for improved and expanded SRHR at the country, regional and global levels. PAI works toward its mission by propelling evidence-informed advocacy strategies in the United States and globally and supporting in-country CSO partners across nearly 40 low- and middle-income countries to advocate for increased access to sexual and reproductive health services and expand SRHR for all. To learn more, visit pai.org.

ABOUT THE GFF NGO HOST AT PAI

The CSO Global Financing Facility (GFF) Resource and Engagement Hub is a multiyear initiative to amplify and support civil society organizations and coalitions to contribute to GFF partner country outcomes for reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health and nutrition. Learn more about the GFF PAI collaboration 

December 2022 GFF CSO Grant Partners:

 

NAME COUNTRY PROJECT DESCRIPTION
Fiker Behiwot Children and Youth Development Association Ethiopia Strengthening youth voices and agency in addressing the sexual reproductive health challenges of domestic migrant youth and students in Hawassa city. Youth will have improved access to quality SRHR information and youth-led organizations and groups will be better integrated into partnership networks and platforms as part of scaling up and building the capacity of the youth movement.
Future Hopes Integrated Development Organization Ethiopia Building the capacity of students (10-16 years) in low-income areas of Addis Ababa to lead advocacy initiatives to improve SRH services for school youth and break down existing norms that hinder access to information and services.
Marie Stopes Zambia Zambia Engaging with Zambia’s SRHR civil society to build a unified movement to advocate for the adoption of the GFF investment case by the government of Zambia. Informed stakeholders will actively work with the Parliament and Ministry of Finance to advance the plan which will create a sustainable financing mechanism for RMNCAH. The project will also strengthen the capacity of Zambia’s civil society to advocate for SRHR and build a strong network of advocates.
Associação Observatório do Cidadão para Transparência e Boa Governação no Sector Saúde Mozambique Working with civil society platforms and other stakeholders to engage with the Ministry of Health to enhance the approved GFF investment case. Focusing on improving the process for allocating public resources and having greater social accountability and monitoring to ensure health services respond to community RMNCAHN needs. Additionally, emphasiing the need to make adolescent sexual and reproductive health a priority.
Health and Rights Education Programme Malawi Building the capacity of Malawi’s civil society to conduct evidence-based advocacy with the government of Malawi to ensure RMNCAHN priorities are included in the GFF investment case, as well as strengthening political will for increasing domestic resource mobilization. Advancing the adoption of the GFF investment case with a strong accountability framework to monitor the implementation and results.
Youth Initiative for Community Development Malawi Strengthening the voices and capacities of Malawi’s SRMNCAH+N Youth Coalition members to influence SRHR decision-makers in policy and budget processes. Promoting social accountability and improving resource allocation, delivery of quality services, and public resource management for SRMNCAH+N.
Réseau Jeunesse Population Développement Senegal Strengthening the capacity of CSOs and community leaders to effectively communicate the RMNCAHN needs of communities and meaningfully engage with the government to have their views and recommendations reflected in the GFF investment case. Also developing an inclusive monitoring mechanism to hold the government accountable for its commitments.
Alliance Nationale des Jeunes pour la Sante de la Reproduction Senegal Building the capacity of young people to effectively engage with policy-makers and stakeholders to contribute to the GFF investment case and breaking down socio-cultural barriers to the discussion and promotion of sexual health and reproduction for young women and adolescent girls.
Organisation pour de Nouvelles Initiatives en Développement et Santé Burkina Faso Building strong partnerships with private sector companies that are well positioned to contribute to improving RMNCAH-N and pushing them to commitment to budget allocation as part of RMNCAH-N funding.
SOS Jeunesse et Defis Burkina Faso Strengthening the commitment and leadership of CSOs and young people in advancing the GFF investment case in Burkina Faso and improving the monitoring and accountability framework for its implementation.
Réseau Des Plateformes d’ONG d’Afrique De L’ouest Regional (Senegal) Strengthening and building the capacity of civil society in francophone Africa to identify neglected sectors in GFF investment cases and conduct evidence-based advocacy to enhance the plans and hold governments accountable for RMNCAH+N commitments.
Cellule de Liaison des Associations Féminines Chad Strengthening the capacity of the national coalition of CSOs to advocate for the prioritization of identified community needs in the GFF investment case and the development of a strong accountability mechanism for monitoring its implementation and evaluating the effectiveness of its interventions for improving RMNCAH.
Association Nationale des Jeunes Femmes Actives pour la Solidarité Central African Republic Building the capacity of civil society to monitor and analyze budgets for RMNCAH-N services to identify irregularities and improve budget management to avoid funding disruptions.
Mouvement d’Action des Jeunes de l’Association Centrafricaine pour le Bien-Être Familial Central African Republic Building the capacity of the Central African Republic’s (CAR) civil society to conduct advocacy, domestic resource mobilization, monitoring, and evaluation to support the National Health Development Plan (PNDS) as part of improving SRMNCAH-N in the Central African Republic, with an emphasis on improving conditions for women of childbearing age, children, adolescents, and young people.

 

PAI announces the election of Dr. Karla Berdichevsky Feldman, the director general of the National Center for Gender Equity and Reproductive Health at the Mexico Ministry of Health, as a member of PAI’s board of directors. The board provides strategic support, fiduciary oversight and governance direction to help achieve PAI’s vision, mission and goals.

“PAI’s board of directors congratulates Dr. Berdichevsky on her election and is appreciative of her long-standing partnership with, guidance to and support of PAI,” said Neeraja Bhavaraju, board chair. “Dr. Berdichevsky is among the leading voices for sexual and reproductive health and rights in Mexico, the region and globally. We are excited for PAI to continue to benefit from her perspective.”

Dr. Berdichevsky trained as a medical doctor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico and holds a master’s degree in public health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She has led both qualitative and quantitative research and has also conducted projects in health communications, advocacy and multisectoral partnership building. She has collaborated with a variety of civil society organizations and United Nations agencies as well as pharmaceutical companies.

“I’m honored to join such an esteemed board of directors, and I look forward to supporting PAI’s mission of advancing universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights through advocacy, partnerships and funding of changemakers,” said Dr. Berdichevsky. “As a former member of civil society and now serving the government of Mexico, I know how important a vibrant civic space is to advance policies and achieve health equity, equal rights and progress for all people.”

Dr. Karla Berdichevsky Feldman meets with PAI staff in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Berdichevsky has helped shape a new era in Mexico’s efforts to achieve universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights. As PAI continues to advance its mission, it recognizes the importance of having leaders who center civil society in achieving and sustaining change.

“We are thrilled to have Karla and her 20+ years of experience as a physician, civil society advocate, researcher and national policymaker who has dedicated her career to advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights,” said Nabeeha Kazi Hutchins, president and CEO of PAI, who also serves on PAI’s board of directors. “Mexico is an example of progress for sexual and reproductive health and rights. There is much that we can learn from the experience of Mexico’s civil society, the responsiveness of Mexico’s leaders and the leadership of Dr. Berdichevsky to enable change and impact for communities at large.”

In addition, PAI congratulates longtime board member Luis Guardia in his election of PAI board treasurer. Mr. Guardia will serve a one-year term through December 2023.

Mr. Guardia serves as president of the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC), the leading national nonprofit organization working to eradicate poverty-related hunger and undernutrition in the United States. He has also served in top leadership roles in global philanthropy and international development organizations including Global Impact, The ONE Campaign and the International Center for Research on Women. Mr. Guardia began his nonprofit career working in arts and media organizations, including NPR, CPB, the Guggenheim Collection and the Phillips Collection.

Read more about PAI’s entire board of directors here.

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About PAI

PAI champions policies that put women, youth and at-risk communities in charge of their sexual and reproductive health and rights. We work with policymakers in Washington, D.C., and our network of more than 120 funded partners across 36 countries to remove roadblocks to access sexual and reproductive health services and support. For nearly six decades, PAI has helped communities succeed by upholding their basic rights.

To learn more, visit www.pai.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

The Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act would repeal the Helms amendment, which bars U.S. foreign assistance funding for abortion, and therefore expand abortion access globally.

Senator Cory Booker today introduced the Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act. This is the first-ever legislation to repeal the Helms amendment, a 50-year-old policy that bans the use of U.S. foreign assistance for abortion, putting an arbitrary line between abortion care and all other global health services.

Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Tina Smith (D-MN) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) also lead this critical legislation, which has 21 original cosponsors.

Sen. Booker introduced the proposed legislation with bill co-leads earlier today.

“We know that in the wake of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, Americans will be denied access to essential health care services across the United States; however, the repercussions also go beyond our borders. This disastrous decision will be felt around the world, setting back many countries who have long used Roe v. Wade as the basis to strengthen abortion rights protections in their own countries. We must take immediate action to mitigate the global impact of this decision,” said Sen. Booker. “For that reason, I am proud to introduce the Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act, which will repeal the Helms amendment and ensure that U.S. foreign assistance can be used for safe abortion services overseas.”

Enacted in 1973, the Helms amendment is found in the Foreign Assistance Act and has been passed as part of congressional appropriations bills every year for nearly five decades. It is an antiquated, neo-colonialist policy that has, for nearly 50 years, curbed global reproductive and economic freedom around the world.

The policy prohibits U.S. foreign aid from being used for “the performance of abortion as a method of family planning.” But in practice, Helms has banned all U.S. foreign assistance funds from being used for any abortion care. This policy exacerbates existing health disparities; and denies millions of mostly Black and Brown people in low-to-middle income countries the care they need and want.

“I am proud to lead the Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act in the House, the first-ever legislation to repeal the racist 49-year-old Helms amendment. This harmful policy bars U.S. Foreign Assistance from being used to offer abortion care, even in countries where abortion is legal. That is wrong. The United States should not be standing in the way of health care in other countries,” said Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky. “Now, for the first time in history, this legislation is being introduced in the U.S. Senate. I am grateful for Senator Booker’s leadership to repeal the Helms amendment and expand abortion access in this critical moment. Abortion is health care, and health care is a human right.”

The Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act is an opportunity for the United States to fulfill its commitment to protecting and promoting the reproductive health and rights of people living overseas. There is no doubt the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade will not only deny millions of people living in the United States their fundamental rights to health care, to bodily autonomy and to freedom, but it will also have a ripple effect around the world. Introducing the Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act in the Senate is an opportunity for Congress to address negative global impacts of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health decision, by protecting and promoting the reproductive health and rights of people living overseas.

A broad coalition of global reproductive health, rights and justice advocacy, research and service-delivery organizations celebrates this historic introduction today. This group has been working to mitigate and address the harms caused by the Helms amendment for over a decade. Additionally, the Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act is endorsed by more than 180 organizations and quotes from several groups can be found below for inclusion in media coverage.

More information can be found at repealhelms.org.

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Nabeeha Kazi Hutchins, President and CEO, PAI
“Globally, at least 35 million women have abortions in unsafe conditions every year. Unsafe abortion is a leading cause of maternal mortality and morbidity in low- and middle-income countries where there are significant barriers to accessing quality abortion care.

“Restrictive U.S. foreign policies like the Helms amendment create an added burden and undermine country-led efforts to meet the needs of their own communities, reduce maternal mortality and bolster reproductive rights. As the largest donor of global health assistance, the U.S. government is compounding health inequities and amplifying a policy that harms people and their communities.

“The Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act, which permanently repeals the Helms amendment, would result in at least 19 million fewer unsafe abortions annually, leading to 17,000 fewer maternal deaths and 12 million fewer women needing medical treatment for complications from unsafe procedures. We welcome its introduction in the Senate and urge its swift passage through Congress so that U.S. policy is guided by science, embraces human rights and the autonomy and agency of all people and aligns with global public health institutions that recognize abortion as essential health care.”

Iffath Abbasi Hoskins, MD, FACOG, President, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)
“Following the catastrophic decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, it is more important than ever that the United States promote the right to comprehensive, evidence-based medical care, including abortion, here and around the world. ACOG applauds Senator Booker for introducing the Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act as our international partners turn to Congress for leadership as they witness the erosion of women’s rights on our own soil. This legislation is a bold step forward in the fight for global reproductive freedom and access to lifesaving care.”

Kelley Dennings, Campaigner, Center for Biological Diversity
“Universal access to abortion as part of reproductive healthcare is a basic human right. All of us should have agency over our bodies and our decisions about whether — and when — to have children. When safe, legal abortion is restricted, either in the United States or elsewhere in the world, it endangers patients and limits the ability of people to receive comprehensive medical services, make informed healthcare decisions and choose when to start a family. Now is the time to repeal the Helms amendment.”

Nadya Dutchin, Executive Director, American Humanist Association
“Humanists affirm that everyone, everywhere should be able to obtain a safe abortion and have the resources they need to access comprehensive reproductive health care; shamefully, however, the Helms amendment has stood in the way of many in the international community who seek such care and prosperity. The Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act rightfully seeks to fix injustice in U.S. foreign assistance policy by making resources available that ensure abortions are safe and accessible, particularly to those who are most marginalized and need family planning services, and the American Humanist Association is proud to endorse this legislation for putting humanitarianism and health first.”

Christy Turlington Burns, Founder, Every Mother Counts
“Access to abortion care is central to the health and human rights of women and pregnant people, both in the United States and globally. Globally, unsafe abortion, which results from barriers to accessing safe, respectful abortion care, is a leading cause of maternal deaths and complications. Every Mother Counts supports the Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act, which would repeal the Helms amendment, a harmful abortion restriction that keeps maternal and reproductive health care, including abortion care, out of reach for people around the world, and prevents pregnant people and mothers from making decisions about whether, when, and how to give birth.”

Giselle Carino, CEO, Fòs Feminista
“The repeal of Helms amendment, which violates the basic right to self-determination, is long overdue. The U.S. must stop curtailing the life projects of Global South women, girls and people who can become pregnant. In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, this is a key moment for global solidarity on advancing abortion rights and in particular to provide information, medication, and support to women and other pregnant people for self-managing an abortion. Feminist activism and movement building across the Global South are bringing about positive change, from the Green Wave in Latin America that successfully pressed for decriminalization of abortion in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico, to the recent victories to dismantle colonial-area criminalization laws in Benin, Kenya and Sierra Leone. Now is the time to strengthen transnational connections to secure hard-won rights, hold governments accountable, and advance decriminalization of abortion in laws, policies, and social norms.”

Dr. Herminia Palacio, President and CEO, Guttmacher Institute
“Congress still has the opportunity to demonstrate with actions the US government’s commitment to global healthcare equity and women’s rights by repealing the harmful Helms amendment and passing the Abortion Is Health Care Everywhere Act. The Helms amendment is a deeply unjust and discriminatory policy that prohibits health care organizations abroad from using US global health assistance funds to support safe abortion services. Like other abortion restrictions, this funding ban most harshly impacts people with the fewest resources, including those who have low incomes, are young, or live in rural areas. The evidence is clear and irrefutable: Abortion is an experience shared by millions of people worldwide, both in places where abortion is highly restricted and where it is broadly legal. We urge Congress to recognize the basic human right of all people to decide freely whether and when to be pregnant, and whether and when to bear children.”

Peggy Clark, President and CEO, International Center for Research on Women (ICRW)
“The International Center for Research on Women applauds the Senate introduction of the Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act, repealing the Helms amendment. For over four decades, the Helms amendment has limited access to essential sexual and reproductive health services worldwide by restricting funding for abortion care. Abortion is an essential health care service and should be upheld as such, and access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and wellness services is a human right. Our research shows that people of all genders who have bodily autonomy are healthier, are more financially secure and are more empowered in their decision-making and participation in social and political life. So we are thankful to the sponsors and co-sponsors of this bill to moving the U.S. one step closer to removing restrictions on foreign assistance so that it can fully support comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights and enable people that get pregnant to have healthier lives with their human rights respected.”

Anu Kumar, President and CEO, Ipas
“Abortion is health care. Everyone, no matter who, no matter where, must have access. When people don’t have access to abortion, they face greater economic struggles, their children have fewer resources; women, pregnant people and providers can go to jail; many people are forced to carry unwanted pregnancies to term; and being pregnant and giving birth is riskier than having an abortion. Everyone has less freedom.

“For the last 50 years, the Helms amendment has denied people — in low-to-middle income countries — their reproductive rights and the care they want and need. This neo-colonialist policy has played politics with people’s lives in countries thousands of miles away. And now we see the same thing happening in the US.

“The time to act is now. Passing the Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act would save the lives of millions of people around the world. This would move us closer to a vision of reproductive justice and a world where everyone can make their own decisions about their future and health with dignity and respect.”

Macarena Sáez, Executive Director, Women’s Rights Division, Human Rights Watch (HRW)
“Reproductive rights are human rights. This means that access to reproductive health, including access to abortion services, should be guaranteed to women and pregnant people throughout the United States. We’ve extensively documented how abortion bans across the globe increase unsafe abortion, leading to higher maternal mortality and morbidity rates. The Helms amendment goes against Human Rights Watch’s consistent and yearslong evidence that accessible and safe abortion is essential to protect the rights to life, health, and privacy, among others”.

Mini Timmaraju, President, NARAL Pro-Choice America
“For more than four decades, the Helms amendment has blocked access to abortion care for people around the world. That is, simply put, unacceptable. As anti-choice extremists wage attack after attack on abortion rights in our country, the Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act reaffirms our commitment to reproductive freedom for everybody — here and around the world. We applaud Sen. Booker for introducing the Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act and his commitment to ensuring that communities across the globe have the freedom to make their own decisions about their lives, families, and futures.” 

Jody Rabhan, Chief Policy Officer, National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW)
“At the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), we know that abortion is safe, essential, time-sensitive health care and that health care is a basic human right. Our Jewish values teach us that every single person’s health is unassailable and that all deserve fair treatment and access to the resources necessary to make their own decisions about abortion without political interference or economic coercion. The Helms amendment has long turned this principle on its head, denying care to millions of individuals around the world and hindering the exercise of their fundamental reproductive rights by blocking use of U.S. foreign assistance funds for abortions services. NCJW is proud to endorse the Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act to repeal this dangerous policy and to support access to high-quality, comprehensive reproductive health care services worldwide.”

Rabbi Elyse Wechterman, Executive Director, Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association
“Abortion and access to reproductive medicine is healthcare. And access to healthcare is a fundamental human right, something we all must do our part to provide and guarantee if we are to live up to the teaching that all people are created in God’s image. All people must be afforded the dignity, honor and basic needs to live healthy and whole lives. And abortion care is a central comnent of a dignified human life.”

Christian F. Nunes, President, National Organization for Women (NOW)
“The National Organization for Women fully supports the Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act and calls on Congress to swiftly pass this critical legislation. The Helms amendment is an antiquated, blatantly racist policy that puts the world’s most vulnerable women at risk by denying them the reproductive health services they so desperately need. This cruel and arbitrary amendment prevents women — particularly Black and Brown women — from becoming leaders in their communities and uplifting economies, leaving them with few options. The United States has long positioned itself as a global leader that fosters equity and equality across borders; the Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act will help restore our commitment to advancing gender equality around the world.”

Rev. Katey Zeh, CEO, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC)
“No matter where someone lives, access to comprehensive reproductive health care and family planning measures — including abortion — is one of the most powerful determining factors in their level of education, economic security, health, and overall quality of life. For nearly five decades, the Helms amendment has worked to block people around the globe from receiving this essential care.

“We see this as an ongoing example of U.S. white patriarchal Christian imperialism and a direct attack on religious liberty and individual rights, health, and dignity. People across faith traditions all over the world seek abortion care, and we each possess the sacred human right to exercise our own moral conscience in making decisions about our bodies. The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC) is honored to be part of the efforts to support the Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act and bring an end to the unjust Helms amendment, and we thank Senator Hirono for leading this much-needed bill.”

Alexis McGill Johnson, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA)
“Ending the Helms amendment is a powerful step toward ensuring that U.S. foreign policy expands access to quality, comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care services beyond its borders, including abortion. For far too long, the Helms amendment has denied people of their reproductive rights, kept them from the essential health care they want and need, and reduced the availability of safe, legal abortion. It’s a coercive policy that forces the extreme ideology of a vocal minority in the U.S. on people in many of the lowest-income countries in the world. The policy is a stark example of neocolonialism and deeply rooted in white supremacy, designed to take advantage of the uneven relationship between the U.S. and the countries that receive aid.

“We thank Senators Booker, Duckworth, Hirono, Blumenthal, and Smith for introducing this critical legislation as an important step to protecting abortion access globally.”

Karl Hofmann, President and CEO, Population Services International (PSI)
“Repeal of the Helms amendment is long overdue. We support the Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act as a critical first step in a long journey to address the damage the U.S. has caused to the reproductive rights of people in other countries. The Helms amendment has hypocritically and systematically stifled free speech in sovereign countries, impeded the provision of legal abortion allowable under their laws, and in the process contributed to avoidable maternal deaths due to unsafe abortion and a scarcity of post-abortion care. The Helms amendment has been undermining independent partner nations since the Nixon administration. It’s well past the time to end this discriminatory and harmful statute. “

Erin Matson, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Reproaction
“Abortion access is a human right, and the Helms amendment has caused harm and suffering to people around the world. Reproaction strongly supports the passage of the Abortion Is Health Care Everywhere Act. The U.S.-based anti-abortion agenda is a significant driver of maternal mortality and worse outcomes for babies around the world, it’s far from ‘pro life.’ The time to end this is now.”

Jocelyn Foye, Executive Director, The Womxn Project
“There is a dangerous and calculated agenda to take away all access to abortion. Whether it is abortion bans pushed through the US or the harmful policies we export across the globe, politicians are trying to deny us the agency and autonomy in our own reproductive lives. And like other political games, these policies fall hardest on marginalized communities who already struggle to get healthcare. We are proud to work with our partners to get rid of the Helms amendment and take on any attempt to take away our most personal decisions.”

Sonja Spoo, Director of Reproductive Rights Campaigns, UltraViolet
“Bodily autonomy and access to reproductive healthcare is the foundation of a better future for all people. The fight for reproductive freedom is a global fight that we must continue both at home and in solidarity with people around the world as they work to advance reproductive freedom. Critically, that means doing our part to ensure reproductive oppression is not a rote part of our global policy and aid. As we continue to fight back against the loss of constitutional protections for abortion in the United States, we cannot forget the broader fight for reproductive health, rights, and justice. We must continue to advocate to dismantle the policies implemented that deny the world’s most vulnerable communities the right to abortion and other critical forms of reproductive healthcare. We urge Congress to work to pass the Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act as part of the overall work to expand access to abortion around the world and in the U.S.”

Renee Bracey Sherman, Founder and Executive Director, We Testify
“In this moment, we need abortion access at any time, for any reason, anywhere and everywhere. The Helms amendment is an outdated, xenophobic and racist policy that forces people of other nations to abide by horrific American anti-abortion beliefs. The Helms amendment is unjust and colonialist at its core. What’s happening right now in the United States cannot continue to spread globally. The We Testify abortion storytellers have had abortions and we know the powerful impact safe access has had on our lives. It’s time for the United States to end its imperialist reign and repeal the Helms amendment to ensure everyone has access to abortion care, no matter where they live.”

North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology
“Adolescents and young adults both in the US and abroad deserve access to health systems which acknowledge their reproductive rights. For 47 years, the Helms amendment has stood in the way of ensuring support globally for adolescents and young adults to receive confidential and comprehensive sexual and reproductive care, infringing on this human right on an international scale. Abortion care is essential health care, and the North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology applauds and endorses the Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act in its aim to repeal Helms and remove this barrier to much needed health care for our patients worldwide.”

Akila Radhakrishnan, President, Global Justice Center
“With the devastating decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the US is facing a crisis moment for abortion access domestically. Globally, the US has been exporting its ideology for nearly five decades through policies like the Helms amendment which denies essential medical care and has been interpreted as a total ban on abortion services and information, even in countries where abortion is legal. This harmful policy puts the US in violation of its human rights obligations, denies access to hard fought rights around the world, and it is long past time for its repeal.”

Dr. Marcelle Cedars, President, American Society for Reproductive Medicine
“As we saw with the overturning of Roe v. Wade, expanding access to reproductive care is more important now than ever, especially in developing countries where access to safe care is even more difficult to receive. Abortion access is part of reproductive health care and that is why the Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act (AHCE) is so important. We applaud the introduction of this legislation and encourage Congress to do everything in its power to ensure access to comprehensive reproductive health care services is available in the US and in developing countries.”

Shannon Russell, Director of Policy, Catholics for Choice
“Catholics for Choice is proud to join with moral leaders like Sen. Cory Booker in support of the Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act, which would permanently end the Helms amendment. For decades, Helms has endangered the lives of the most vulnerable people in the world — particularly Black and Brown women, trans men, and non-binary people— by denying them access to basic, life-saving reproductive healthcare. It is a grave affront to our values as faithful Catholics and American citizens, which compel us to advocate for free speech, freedom of religion, and care for the most marginalized in society. The Senate must swiftly pass the Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act and end this racist, unconscionable policy once and for all.”

Kathleen Mogelgaard, President and CEO, Population Institute
“For almost 50 years the United States has exported a harmful anti-abortion policy with the Helms amendment. The Helms amendment is a racist, colonialist policy that has put at risk the health, lives, and reproductive freedom of people across the world who have no say in U.S. policies. On the heels of the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade, it is more important than ever that we fight to eliminate harmful barriers to abortion care for everyone. The Population Institute strongly supports the Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act, that would repeal the Helms amendment, and we thank Senator Booker for leading this bill along with co-leads Senators Richard Blumenthal, Tammy Duckworth, Mazie Hirono, and Tina Smith. Now is the time to end this harmful and imperialist policy, because abortion is a human right and everyone, no matter where they live, deserves access to abortion care.”

Tammy Tibbetts, Co-Founder and CEO, She’s the First
“Every girl has the right to choose her own future. Restrictions on abortion care impact girls’ health and agency at this moment, but these regulations also drastically narrow girls’ ability to choose their path as they grow into adulthood. Abortion restrictions diminish everyone’s freedom.

“She’s the First supports the Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act because all pregnant people should be able to access the care they need. This legislation would repeal the Helms amendment, allowing U.S. foreign aid to fund life-saving health care. We support everyone’s right to bodily autonomy, critical healthcare, and privacy. To create a world where girls are respected, we must establish policies that protect their rights.”

Rori Kramer, Director of U.S. Advocacy, American Jewish World Service (AJWS)
“American Jewish World Service applauds the Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act, historic legislation which makes clear that abortion is an essential form of health care and that access to abortion is a fundamental human right. For nearly 50 years, the racist Helms amendment has imposed arbitrary and harmful restrictions on abortion services, allowing the United States to control the bodily autonomy and dignity of vulnerable communities around the world, especially Black and brown individuals, LGBTQI+ people and sex workers.

“As a faith-based organization committed to upholding the reproductive rights of all people, AJWS is grateful to the leadership of U.S. Senator Cory Booker and his colleagues — Sens. Blumenthal, Duckworth, Hirono, and Smith – for their commitment to upholding abortion as a human right for all people.”

Nancy Northup, President and CEO, Center for Reproductive Rights
“The Helms amendment has long contributed to the erosion of people’s bodily autonomy and fundamental human rights by stripping them of the ability to make informed decisions about their health and denying access to abortion care. It prevents U.S.-funded health care providers from offering comprehensive and essential reproductive healthcare, even when a pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, or to preserve the life or health of the pregnant person. Access to abortion is recognized as an international human right obligation and over 60 countries across all regions of the world have liberalized their abortion laws in the last 30 years. The U.S. is the only country in the world to have taken such an extreme and retrogressive step to end constitutional protections for abortion access and exports these harms via anti-abortion foreign policies. Congress must pass the Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act and eliminate the Helms amendment once and for all.”

 Tara Romano, Executive Director, Pro-Choice North Carolina
“The overwhelming majority of North Carolinians believe in abortion access and that abortion is healthcare. Former U.S. Senator Jesse Helms was extremely out of touch with North Carolinians and the world, and he imposed his anti-abortion beliefs on people across the globe with the Helms amendment, which prohibits foreign government and non-governmental organizations who receive U.S. foreign assistance from using that money to provide abortion care, even if abortion is legal in their country. These kinds of abortion bans disproportionately impact the lives and health of women of color, people of color, and Indigenous people, and run counter to the basic human right of all people to access healthcare and to access abortion. As a North Carolina organization, we call for a full and permanent repeal of the Helms amendment!”

In reaction to the Supreme Court opinion reversing federal protections for abortion, Nabeeha Kazi Hutchins, president and CEO of PAI, an international sexual and reproductive health and rights advocacy organization, issued the following statement:

“The Supreme Court has made the unconscionable decision to reverse the U.S. constitutional right to abortion. This decision undermines the agency and autonomy of pregnant people. It is expected to result in an increase of maternal and infant mortality and illness, and boost the United States’ position as one of the most dangerous countries in the world to give birth — especially for Black, Brown and Indigenous people who experience the greatest barriers to quality health care access. 

“Overturning Roe v. Wade will not reduce the number of people seeking abortions; instead, it will result in more people being harmed or dying in the process of getting unsafe abortions or forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term. 

“We are facing a fundamental attack on the civil rights of all Americans — the right to privacy, the right to health care, the right to choose. This decision will disproportionately harm Black, Brown and Indigenous communities in the United States and cause havoc for low-income Americans and people in rural areas who already struggle with obtaining abortion care. It will also put access to contraception and protections for the rights of the LGBTQI+ community on the chopping block as freedoms are rolled back due to this Supreme Court majority. 

“The signal this decision sends around the world can’t be ignored. The United States’ commitment to gender equality and human rights around the world rings hollow when these same commitments are not upheld in our own nation, especially when approximately 70% of Americans support abortion rights. A minority is making harmful decisions that disregard what the American majority wants. What’s more, U.S. decisions and actions influence and inspire communities around the world. The overturning of Roe v. Wade could add fuel to efforts in other countries where sexual and reproductive health and rights, including access to safe and legal abortion, are threatened.

“The United States is backsliding as the overwhelming international trajectory is toward expanding abortion access and post-abortion care. From Mexico’s Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal, to groundbreaking policy and legal decisions in support of abortion access in Chile, Colombia, Ireland and more, the global trend is to expand sexual and reproductive health and rights — including abortion — and recognize that abortion is health care and access to it is a fundamental human right. 

“Our country’s failure to protect fundamental human rights at a time of global expansion of abortion care and access is deeply concerning. Since the 1990s, over 60 countries have liberalized laws for sexual and reproductive health and rights, and many have moved toward the decriminalization of abortion. These rights make families, communities and economies stronger. Only Poland, El Salvador and Nicaragua have enacted more restrictive laws since then. Now, heartbreakingly, the United States has joined them. 

“This decision will bolster the anti-abortion movement around the world, derail progress toward universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights and violate the agency, autonomy and aspirations of communities across the United States.

“PAI recognizes abortion as essential health care and access to abortion as a human right. We will fight to keep the rest of the world moving forward to protect them as the United States takes a massive step backwards.”

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About PAI

PAI champions policies that put women, youth and at-risk communities in charge of their sexual and reproductive health and rights. We work with policymakers in Washington, D.C., and our network of more than 120 funded partners across 36 countries to remove roadblocks to accessing sexual and reproductive health services and support. For nearly six decades, PAI has helped communities succeed by upholding their basic rights.

To learn more, visit www.pai.org and follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and LinkedIn.

The Global Financing Facility (GFF) and PAI announced today a new collaboration to further strengthen civil society and youth engagement in GFF partner countries to help deliver better health for all women, children and adolescents, as part of the GFF Civil Society and Youth Engagement Strategy.

Two years into the pandemic, and with multiple crises affecting the world, civil society and youth voices remain critical in informing decision-making, promoting accountability and protecting essential health services for women, children and adolescents in at-risk communities. The GFF’s five-year vision addresses the urgent need for deepening meaningful engagement with civil society organizations (CSOs) to help build resilient and equitable health systems that respond to the needs of women, children and adolescents.

Supported by a $5 million GFF grant, PAI will further strengthen CSO impact by enhancing alignment of CSO participation at both country and global levels, streamlining governance and management and hosting the CSO Coordinating Group. PAI will also provide strategic and technical advocacy assistance and grants to enhance CSO capacity to engage in policy and funding decisions and ensure accountability by governments and partners.

“PAI is deeply honored to be selected as the CSO Host in support of the GFF’s commitment to advance women, children and adolescent health priorities around the world,” said Nabeeha Kazi Hutchins, president and CEO of PAI. “This role recognizes PAI’s contributions to sexual and reproductive health and rights, our trusted collaborations with community-based organizations worldwide and our approach to equitable and principled partnerships. As PAI works to expand the civic space for community-driven advocacy, the GFF’s investment accelerates and sustains the positive impact that local organizations are driving for the health and well-being of women, children and adolescents.”

Since its inception in 2015, the GFF has provided grants and technical assistance to strengthen CSO engagement in country stakeholder platforms. During the pandemic, the GFF scaled up its support to ensure CSO participation in developing COVID-19 response plans and advocating for protecting essential services for women, children and adolescents.

“The role of CSOs has always been central to promoting equity and ensuring the voices and needs of the women, children and adolescents are positioned at the heart of the country-led process to strengthen health systems,” said Monique Vledder, head of GFF Secretariat. ”The collaboration with PAI comes at a critical time when CSO engagement is more important than ever to ensure that women’s and children’s health lies at the center of an inclusive and resilient recovery.”

PAI was selected through a competitive process reviewed by the GFF CSO Task Force which includes external partners from civil society and youth organizations, private foundations, multilaterals and donor agencies, and by staff from the GFF and World Bank Global Partnership for Social Accountability.

For more information on this partnership or on GFF’s CSO strategy, please contact GFFcsoengagement@worldbank.org.

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About PAI

PAI champions policies that put women, youth and at-risk communities in charge of their sexual and reproductive health and rights. We work with policymakers in Washington, D.C., and our network of more than 120 funded partners across 36 countries to remove roadblocks to access sexual and reproductive health services and support. For nearly six decades, PAI has helped communities succeed by upholding their basic rights.

To learn more, visit www.pai.org and follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and LinkedIn.

 

About the Global Financing Facility (GFF)

The GFF is a multistakeholder partnership of the World Bank that supports country-led efforts to improve the health of women, children and adolescents. With the GFF, countries are making smarter, more prioritized, results-focused investments toward greater impact on the health, nutrition and well-being of women, children and adolescents; building capacity for more sustainable funding for this agenda; and exploring more innovative ways to work with the private sector. Since the GFF was founded in 2015, partner countries have made significant progress to improve maternal and child health. Learn more here: Annual Report 2020-2021.

Global Health Advocates Say Abortion is Health Care and a Human Right; the United States Is Backsliding at a Time When the World Is Seeking to Expand Abortion Access

In reaction to the leaked Supreme Court opinion reversing federal protections for abortion, Nabeeha Kazi Hutchins, president and CEO of PAI, an international sexual and reproductive health and rights advocacy organization, issued the following statement:

“A Supreme Court decision reversing federal protections for abortion would create a humanitarian and public health crisis that would result in millions of women and pregnant people losing access to critical and lifesaving reproductive services. This will not reduce the number of people seeking abortions — it just means that more people will be harmed or die in the process of getting them.

Make no mistake — the leaked decision rolling back the precedent established by Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey is a fundamental attack on the civil rights of all Americans. This decision would disproportionately harm Black, Brown and Indigenous communities in the United States and cause havoc for low-income Americans and people in rural areas who already struggle with accessing abortion care.

In addition, because the leaked decision does away with Roe’s fundamental right to privacy, it would mean that access to contraception and protections for the rights of the LGBTQI+ community could be on the chopping block for this radical Supreme Court majority.

The overwhelming current international trajectory is toward the legalization of abortion. From Mexico’s Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal to groundbreaking policy and legal decisions in support of abortion access in Chile, Colombia, Ireland and more, the global trend is to expand sexual and reproductive health care — including abortion — and recognize that abortion is health care and access to it is a fundamental human right . Since the 1990s, over 60 countries have expanded their laws or decriminalized abortion. These rights make families and communities stronger.

Only Poland, El Salvador and Nicaragua have enacted more restrictive laws since then and the United States is about to join them.

The fact that the United States is backsliding on fundamental human rights at a time of such exciting global expansion is deeply concerning. This decision would bolster the anti-abortion movement around the world, derail the progress toward universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights and violate the agency, autonomy and aspirations of communities across the United States.

PAI recognizes abortion as essential health care and access to abortion as a human right. The United States cannot go back when the rest of the world is moving forward.”

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About PAI

PAI champions policies that put women, youth and at-risk communities in charge of their sexual and reproductive health and rights. We work with policymakers in Washington, D.C., and our network of more than 120 funded partners across 36 countries to remove roadblocks to access sexual and reproductive health services and support. For nearly six decades, PAI has helped communities succeed by upholding their basic rights.

To learn more, visit www.pai.org and follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and LinkedIn.

Today, American Jewish World Service, AVAC, Be A Hero, Better World Campaign, Bread for the World, CARE, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Fast-Track Cities Institute, Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Global Citizen, Global Health Council, Health GAP, International Association of Providers of AIDS Care, International Medical Corps, IntraHealth International, Management Sciences for Health, Medical Impact, ONE, Open Society Policy Center, Oxfam America, PAI, Pandemic Action Network, PATH, Pathfinder International, PIH, PrEP4All, Public Citizen, R2H Action (Right to Health), RESULTS, Save the Children, Shot@Life, The Taskforce for Global Health, United Nations Association-USA, United to Beat Malaria and World Vision US issued the following statement after the U.S. Senate agreed on a supplemental COVID-19 funding package that cuts off funding for the global COVID response.

“We are deeply disappointed by the Senate’s short-sighted decision to cut off all global COVID funds. If passed, this package would send the signal that Congress has not only turned its back on the rest of the world, but it risked the safety and security of the American people and contributed to prolonging the pandemic.

“Federal agencies responsible for global relief are running out of funds. They will likely be forced to pause relief efforts or reallocate funding from other critical areas if they have not already. It is our hope that Congress returns from its upcoming recess with the commitment to quickly allocate the funds necessary to vaccinate the world and save lives.

“Vaccinating the world and providing critical testing and treatment support in low-income countries is the only way out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Until we commit to providing the necessary resources to combat COVID-19 globally, more variants will emerge, more people will contract the virus and the death toll will continue to rise. The need to adequately respond to COVID-19 compounds all other humanitarian issues including the crisis in Ukraine. Given the current geopolitical unrest and inevitable spread of variants and mutations, the situation is only likely to worsen.

“In crisis after crisis, the United States has stood up and led the world to prosperity. We implore Congress to take on the mantle of leadership, recognize the COVID-19 pandemic as a global threat to humanity, and create a package that reflects the needs of countries around the globe.”

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About PAI

PAI champions policies that put women, youth and at-risk communities in charge of their sexual and reproductive health and rights. We work with policymakers in Washington, D.C., and our network of more than 120 funded partners across 36 countries to remove roadblocks to access sexual and reproductive health services and support. For nearly six decades, PAI has helped communities succeed by upholding their basic rights.

To learn more, visit www.pai.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Today, President Biden released his budget request for fiscal year (FY) 2023. PAI welcomes the important but modest increases for international family planning and reproductive health in the proposal. The FY 2023 request includes a total of $597 million to support bilateral family planning programs and an additional $56 million for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) — 7.5% over the funding level recently appropriated by Congress for FY 2022. While these increases are an improvement on current funding levels, they fall far short of meeting the U.S. fair share contribution to addressing the global unmet need for contraception.

However, we were disappointed that the proposal from the White House failed to call for robust changes in policy that could advance sexual and reproductive health and rights. This includes declining, for the second year in a row, to propose the elimination of the Helms amendment, which prohibits the use of U.S. foreign assistance funds to provide abortion services overseas. The only policy changes included are few small technical fixes, reiterated from last year, to improve the effectiveness of U.S. foreign assistance funds and ensure that family planning and reproductive health programs receive the same treatment as other U.S. foreign assistance programs.

“Throughout its first year in office, the Biden-Harris administration declared its strong commitment to expanding global sexual and reproductive health and rights. Yet this budget proposal lacks the same level of bold ambition. Reaching its goals will take much more than the modest funding increases requested,” said Nabeeha Kazi Hutchins, PAI president and CEO.

PAI urges the Biden-Harris administration going forward to consider not only the vital funding and resources but also the policy changes that will be needed to fulfill its commitments to advancing and protecting sexual and reproductive health and rights around the world. It is now up to Congress to significantly build upon the Biden-Harris administration’s budget request as it begins to craft the FY 2023 appropriations bills and deliver the bold vision of U.S. leadership on global sexual and reproductive health and rights.

About PAI

PAI champions policies that put women, youth and at-risk communities in charge of their sexual and reproductive health and rights. We work with policymakers in Washington, D.C., and our network of more than 120 funded partners across 36 countries to remove roadblocks to access sexual and reproductive health services and support. For nearly six decades, PAI has helped communities succeed by upholding their basic rights.

To learn more, visit www.pai.org and follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and LinkedIn.

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PAI is deeply disappointed in the fiscal year (FY) 2022 spending package released by congressional leadership yesterday, March 9. The bill fails to include any of the significant advances for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) passed by the full House and proposed by the Senate majority on the appropriations committee, such as increased funding for international family planning programs and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) or the permanent repeal of the Global Gag Rule. Instead, due to the demands of anti-SRHR members of Congress, the bill defaults to the previous year’s funding levels and policy, essentially retaining a more-than-decade-long status quo on these issues.

The bill put forward yesterday for consideration in the House and Senate continues to fund bilateral international family planning and reproductive health at $575 million, with an additional $32.5 million for UNFPA, totaling $607.5 million overall. This amount, if passed, will have remained consistent for 12 years, despite the need for increased investments to adequately address the unmet need for modern contraception and other reproductive health services, as well as to offset the effects of inflation.

In addition, the bill fails to include important policy changes to improve the efficacy and efficiency of U.S. investment in international family planning programs. Most notably, permanent repeal of the Global Gag Rule, was left out. Included for the first time in both the House and Senate bills for FY 2022, this policy change should have been considered nonnegotiable as the chambers came together to form an agreement on a final spending package. Without this change, global health organizations around the world remain in a state of uncertainty, knowing that this harmful policy could come back as soon as a future U.S. president who is hostile to SRHR takes office.

PAI remains thankful for the steadfast leadership of congressional champions who sought to advance the SRHR of those around the world throughout this process. We hope that during the upcoming FY 2023 appropriations process, members will choose to set aside their politics and instead support investments and policy provisions that advance health, rights and gender equality.

About PAI

PAI champions policies that put women, youth and at-risk communities in charge of their sexual and reproductive health and rights. We work with policymakers in Washington, D.C., and our network of more than 120 funded partners across 36 countries to remove roadblocks to access sexual and reproductive health services and support. For nearly six decades, PAI has helped communities succeed by upholding their basic rights.

To learn more, visit www.pai.org and follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and LinkedIn.

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PAI is pleased to announce the new chair of its board of directors and the new board executive committee. Neeraja Bhavaraju was recently elected as chair of PAI’s board along with new executive committee members Ada Williams Prince as board vice chair, Nancy Deck as board secretary and Suellen Lambert Lazarus as board treasurer. PAI President and CEO Nabeeha Kazi Hutchins also serves on PAI’s executive committee. The new members of the executive committee will serve a two-year term through December 2023.

“It is such an honor to support PAI in this new role,” said Ms. Bhavaraju. “Protecting the sexual and reproductive health and rights of all people has never been more urgent — and PAI and its many partners around the world are absolutely critical to the fight ahead.”

Ms. Bhavaraju succeeds prior Board Chair Kimberly C. Brooks. Consisting of 12 members, PAI’s board of directors provides strategic support, fiduciary oversight and governance direction to help achieve PAI’s vision, mission and goals. Ms. Bhavaraju is a founding partner of Afton Bloom and was a director and co-lead of the global health practice at FSG, working with foundations, nonprofit organizations and major corporations to develop strategies for equitable change. She has had a distinguished career in sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) advocacy and research, advancing HIV/AIDS prevention programs for women around the world and serving as a champion for access to menstrual health and hygiene services as central to gender equity. She has published research on a range of SRHR topics, including the imperative to introduce new woman-controlled HIV prevention methods and the business case for comprehensive reproductive health.

“We are thrilled to have Neeraja, who has dedicated her career to achieving SRHR gains for women, youth and at-risk communities around the world, as our new board chair,” said Nabeeha Kazi Hutchins, PAI president and CEO. “Our board chair, executive committee and the entire board represent a wealth experience which serves PAI well as we embark upon the next era of our work to strengthen and sustain U.S. and global SRHR advocacy, support our global network of more than 120 civil society advocacy partners in 36 countries and advance PAI’s mission to achieve universal access to SRHR.”

Ms. Bhavaraju has worked with purpose-driven leaders and organizations across sectors to develop strategies for equitable change. She has advised foundations, from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to nonprofit organizations, such as FHI 360 and EYElliance, as well as numerous major corporations. Ms. Bhavaraju succeeds prior Board Chair Kimberly C. Brooks.

Board Vice Chair Ada Williams Prince has served as an international development and humanitarian programs leader with over 15 years of experience. She has directed philanthropic strategy and portfolios for the Marguerite Casey Foundation and Pivotal Ventures, where she currently serves as director of program strategy and investment. Ms. Williams Prince also has extensive experience working with refugees and immigrants globally on a broad range of issues, including health and well-being, economics, policy and education.

Board Secretary Nancy Deck spent her career in Washington, D.C., as a senior marketing executive leading corporate brand strategy, consumer marketing research, planning and execution and customer loyalty insights and programs for several corporations, including Hilton Worldwide, Sallie Mae, MCI and Claritas. Ms. Deck recently retired from Hilton Worldwide, where she held leadership roles for seven years in global brand marketing strategy, research, planning and execution for Hilton and its family of hotel brands and for the Hilton Honors loyalty program.

Board Treasurer Suellen Lambert Lazarus lives in Washington, D.C., and has had a long career in international development and private sector finance. At the World Bank Group, she helped develop and implement the Equator Principles, the international financial standard for assessing and managing environmental and social risks in projects. Ms. Lazarus ran the Syndications Department at the International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank and was advisor to its CEO. She was also senior advisor at ABN AMRO Bank, advancing the bank’s sustainability and corporate social responsibility agenda.

Read more about PAI’s entire board of directors here.

About PAI

PAI champions policies that put women, youth and at-risk communities in charge of their sexual and reproductive health and rights. We work with policymakers in Washington, D.C., and our network of more than 120 funded partners across 36 countries to remove roadblocks to access sexual and reproductive health services and support. For nearly six decades, PAI has helped communities succeed by upholding their basic rights.

To learn more, visit www.pai.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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