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Across the Board, Most Americans Oppose the Global Gag Rule

For Immediate Release

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Katie Unthank

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Across the Board, Most Americans Oppose the Global Gag Rule

New Bipartisan Polling from CHANGE and PAI Reveals a Majority of Voters Oppose Banning U.S. Global Health Assistance to non-U.S. Organizations That Provide Abortion Care or Referrals to Women

A bipartisan poll commissioned by the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE) and PAI released today reveals that across age, education level, gender, race, political party and even abortion stance, the majority of American voters are opposed to “Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance,” also known as the Global Gag Rule. Nearly 60% of voters reject the policy, which prohibits non-U.S., nongovernmental organizations receiving global health assistance from using their own, non-U.S. funds to provide services, information or referrals for abortions, or to advocate for the legalization or liberalization of abortion services.

CHANGE and PAI engaged public opinion research firms American Viewpoint and Lake Research Partners to conduct a joint nationwide survey among voters to determine the favorability of the Global Gag Rule. The first-of-its-kind survey also measured opinions on the U.S.’s role in providing foreign assistance to other countries for medical care.

Findings include:

  • Over half (59%) of voters oppose banning U.S. global health assistance to health care organizations in other countries that provide abortions or referrals to women even if they use their own funding. Three-in-ten (30%) favor banning assistance to these organizations.
  • Compared to those in favor of it, nearly twice as many Democrats (58%), Independents (57%), and Republicans (60%) are opposed to the ban.
  • A solid majority (60%) favor the U.S. providing foreign assistance to other countries for medical care.

“The Global Gag Rule interferes with access to life-saving medical care, including the prevention and treatment of HIV, and is clearly not reflective of American voter values and attitudes. Across party lines, the majority of voters agree: it is health providers—not U.S. politicians—that know what is best for their patients,” says Serra Sippel, president of CHANGE.

“This polling confirms what we’ve always known—access to quality medical care is a bipartisan issue, and letting health providers make decisions about what to do with their own money is common sense,” says Suzanne Ehlers, President and CEO of PAI.

View the CHANGE/PAI report.





CHANGE is a Washington, D.C.-based women’s rights organization that promotes sexual and reproductive health and rights as a means to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls by shaping public discourse, elevating women’s voices, and influencing the U.S. government. To learn more, visit genderhealth.org.

About PAI

PAI champions policies that put women in charge of their reproductive health. We work with policymakers in Washington and our network of partners in developing countries to remove roadblocks between women and the services and supplies they need. For over 50 years, we’ve helped women succeed by upholding their basic rights. To learn more, visit pai.org.

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