Trump Administration Makes Expanded Global Gag Rule Even More Deadly, Renames it “Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance”

Today, the U.S. State Department announced plans for implementing President Trump’s vastly expanded Global Gag Rule. All foreign NGOs receiving any U.S. global health assistance will now be forced to choose between receiving U.S. funding and providing comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care.

In addition to burdening organizations receiving family planning and reproductive health assistance, for the first time, providers implementing programs for maternal and child health, nutrition, HIV/AIDS (including PEPFAR), malaria, tuberculosis, infectious diseases, neglected tropical diseases, and water sanitation and hygiene will now be subject to oppressive Global Gag Rule restrictions. This impacts nearly $9 billion in global health assistance for programs at USAID, the Department of State and the Department of Defense.

Trump’s Global Gag Rule impacts about 15 times more U.S. funding and also extends the reach of restrictions beyond NGO grants and cooperative agreements to contracts. This will also broaden the reach of the policy’s already deadly effects, including increasing unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions, and maternal and child mortality. Previously known within the U.S. government as the Mexico City Policy, Trump’s expanded Global Gag Rule has been deceptively re-branded “Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance.”

“In his campaign to stifle women’s autonomy, Trump’s expanded Global Gag Rule will cause unspeakable damage to integrated care efforts across all health sectors. It will cost many around the world their lives—especially women,” said Suzanne Ehlers, President and CEO of PAI. “Despite the Trump administration’s ludicrous rebranding of the policy, the Global Gag Rule is unmistakably deadlier than ever.”

The expansion of the Global Gag Rule by President Trump threatens to exclude some of the most effective—and in some cases, only—local health providers in 60 low and middle income countries. Without funding, these organizations will be unable to provide integrated maternal health care with contraceptive services, HIV prevention, care and treatment services, or counsel women on their potential risks of Zika infection, among many other services, leaving communities and entire health systems devastated.

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Contact: Adrienne Lee, Senior Communications Officer

Email: alee@pai.org

Phone: 202-557-3426

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 50 years, we’ve helped women succeed by upholding their basic rights. To learn more, visit pai.org.