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Global Gag Rule Evidence and Advocacy

PAI is leading efforts to support civil society partners in navigating the lingering effects of the rescinded Global Gag Rule and advocating for increased country investment in sexual and reproductive health.

As a result of the imposition and unprecedented expansion of the Global Gag Rule under the Trump-Pence administration, health providers around the world were forced to discontinue services, disproportionately affecting vulnerable groups including youth, people living with HIV/AIDS and rural populations. Nongovernmental organizations outside of the United States faced stigma and advocacy obstacles, and the policy upended countries’ health priorities. In response, PAI worked with civil society, policymakers and the media to help them understand and mitigate these extensive impacts and navigate the policy’s complex and expanded implementation guidance. Now that the Biden administration has rescinded the Global Gag Rule, PAI will continue working with partners to mitigate the policy’s chilling effect, and ensure they understand the services they are eligible to provide with their non-U.S. funding. The Trump administration advanced a policy agenda that increased stigma and discrimination against comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services and fueled opposition. It will take time to undo this damage.

PAI has provided technical assistance on the Global Gag Rule to countless civil society partners, policymakers and donors who were impacted by its unprecedented expansion.

PAI continues to document the lasting, in-country harm caused by the policy and we use this evidence to advocate for the permanent repeal of the Global Gag Rule. Because the policy restrictions were not imposed in a vacuum, we document the impacts of the Global Gag Rule as well as the donor and country contexts specific to sexual and reproductive health and rights, the policy and funding landscape and additional country-specific scenarios — including the impact on the larger health system, commodity supply chain and humanitarian response. For instance, the 2017 defunding of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) further magnified the effects of the policy and made it difficult to maintain progress on sexual and reproductive health and rights under the Trump administration’s global health agenda. Our documentation efforts support our civil society partners in their own advocacy for increased country ownership of sexual and reproductive health policies and funding to defend against fluctuations in the external donor and policy landscape. 

Family planning is about equity, autonomy and development. Family planning is a means for women to help themselves. With the Global Gag Rule, there is not even a choice.
Interview from Access Denied Senegal

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