For Immediate Release
February 5, 2020
Contact: Adrienne Lee
firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 202-557-3426
URGENT ACTION NEEDED TO ADDRESS REAL AND DEVASTATING EFFECTS OF GLOBAL GAG RULE ON WOMEN’S HEALTH
Statement on House Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing on Unique Challenges Women Face in Global Health
Washington, D.C.—Women and girls deserve access to basic health care, including sexual and reproductive health care—no matter where they live. Today’s House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on the unique challenges women face in global health emphasizes how the Global Gag Rule has undermined health systems and put critical care out of reach for those who most need it—women, girls and other vulnerable communities.
Testimony of key witnesses, including from countries like Uganda damnably implicates the United States in shutting down trusted health care providers in communities that are already resource constrained, reducing contraceptive access, increasing the number of women and girls dying due to complications of pregnancy and unsafe abortion, silencing health and human rights advocates and undermining country progress toward the sustainable development goals.
As the largest donor of global health assistance, the United States should support policies that are evidence-based and advance health, wellbeing and overall prosperity. We urge Congress to pass the Global HER Act. The legislation, originally introduced by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Rep. Nita Lowey, would permanently repeal the Global Gag Rule and:
- Ensure foreign NGOs can remain eligible to receive U.S. global health assistance if they provide legally permissible health care services, including abortion services, counseling or referrals for abortion with non-U.S. funds.
- Ensure that foreign NGOs can use non-U.S. funds for advocacy and lobbying efforts (consistent with the laws that govern U.S. NGOs receiving foreign assistance) to liberalize abortion laws in the areas where they work.
- Guarantee that foreign NGOs and their staff, including health care providers, participating in U.S.-supported programs can maintain their right to free speech without U.S. interference.
It is time to put an end to the politicization of health and to leave medical decisions to the only people qualified to make them—women and their provider of choice for comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care.
- Advocates for Youth
- American Jewish World Service
- Catholics for Choice
- Center for International Policy
- Center for Reproductive Rights
- CHANGE (Center for Health and Gender Equity)
- Clearinghouse on Women’s Issues
- Council for Global Equality
- Equity Forward
- Feminist Majority Foundation
- Global Justice Center
- Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation
- Guttmacher Institute
- Hispanic Federation
- Human Rights Watch
- International Action Network for Gender Equity & Law
- International Women’s Convocation
- International Women’s Health Coalition
- Jewish Women International
- John Snow, Inc. (JSI)
- Marie Stopes International
- MPact Global Action for Gay Men’s Health & Rights
- NARAL Pro-Choice America
- National Abortion Federation
- National Birth Equity Collaborative
- National Center for Transgender Equality
- National Women’s Law Center
- Planned Parenthood Federation of America
- Population Connection Action Fund
- Population Institute
- Population Services International
- SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change
- The Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health
- The Coalition for Children Affected by AIDS
- The International Youth Alliance for Family Planning
- Treatment Action Group (TAG)
- Women for Afghan Women
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.