In the United States, PAI’s advocacy team brings a clear and steady voice for reproductive rights to Congress and the executive branch. We lead the movement to protect U.S. government funding for international family planning and prevent attempts to pass harmful policies. In developing countries, PAI offers deep expertise and guidance to support our network of proven partners who are working to find local solutions to challenges to women’s reproductive rights. Read on to learn about our priority policies and recent victories.

The Helms Amendment

The Helms Amendment is a longstanding legislative restriction that hampers efforts to address unsafe abortion around the world. The amendment prohibits the use of U.S. foreign assistance funds to pay for the “performance of abortion as a method of family planning.” However, policymakers have gone beyond the letter of the law, barring foreign assistance dollars from paying for abortion services even under the direst circumstances—cases where women have suffered rape or incest or whose pregnancies put their lives in danger. PAI is proud to stand among 80 diverse health and human rights organizations calling on the president to take immediate action on the policy.

Rights and Empowerment

PAI President Suzanne Ehlers is co-lead of the Rights and Empowerment Working Group of FP2020. FP2020 is a global partnership dedicated to providing family planning information and services to over 100 million more women and girls around the world by the year 2020. PAI played an instrumental role in the development of a statement of principles which serves as a guide for countries to build quality family planning programs that respect women's and girls' rights.

The Global Gag Rule

The Global Gag Rule is a U.S. policy that has undermined women's reproductive health for 30 years. The policy denies foreign organizations U.S. family planning funding if they use their own non-U.S. funds to provide abortion information, referrals or services, or advocate for the legalization of abortion in their countries. It was first introduced by the Reagan administration in 1984, repealed by President Clinton, reinstated by President George W. Bush, and repealed again by President Obama. PAI has been a leader in documenting the harmful effects of the Global Gag Rule and calling for a permanent legislative repeal of the policy.

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