Trump’s Global Gag Rule: The Beginning of the Trump-Pence Administration’s Agenda to Punish Women Everywhere
Today, President Trump signaled his intention to put anti-choice politics ahead of women’s lives by imposing the Global Gag Rule, a policy that will leave millions of women and their families in the developing world without access to the critical health services that they need.
The Global Gag Rule causes irreparable harm by forcing organizations that provide information, referrals and services for legal abortion to choose between receiving U.S. family planning funding and providing high-quality reproductive health services and counseling to women.
Trump’s Global Gag Rule will not only severely restrict access to legal abortion, but will also have more insidious and damaging effects on women’s health overall. Health care providers will be forced to cut services, increase fees, and even close clinics altogether as a result of severe funding cuts. There are 225 million women in developing countries who want to avoid pregnancy but are not using modern contraception, but this policy will put birth control even farther from their reach.
One thing is clear: Trump’s Global Gag Rule is consistent with the Trump-Pence administration’s strategy of attacking the most-trusted and experienced health providers—whether in the United States or overseas—as a means of putting critical women’s health care out of reach—and dismantling women’s fundamental human rights.
“Trump’s Global Gag Rule will obstruct and destroy the work of health care providers who are often women’s main—and sometimes only—source for reproductive health care, and their entry point for receiving a wide range of primary health care services,” said Suzanne Ehlers, President and CEO of PAI. “To be clear, this policy is an attack on women’s bodily autonomy and freedom, and we will see an increase in unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortions as a result.”
The world has made incredible progress in improving women’s health and advancing reproductive rights. Many countries have both increased domestic funding for family planning and liberalized abortion laws. Trump’s Global Gag Rule will reverse decades of progress and have a devastating negative impact on reproductive, maternal and child health. The only goal the policy will achieve is to punish women in already challenging circumstances by blocking access to essential care.
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.