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Global Gag Rule Evidence and Advocacy

PAI is leading efforts to support civil society partners in navigating the Global Gag Rule, communicating the widespread implications of the policy’s expansion and documenting its harmful impacts.

As a result of the imposition and unprecedented expansion of the Global Gag Rule — one of President Donald Trump’s first actions in office — health providers around the world have been forced to discontinue services, disproportionately affecting vulnerable groups including youth, people living with HIV/AIDS and rural populations. Foreign nongovernmental organizations have faced stigma and advocacy obstacles, and the policy has upended countries’ health priorities. Misconceptions about the policy abound, furthering the impacts and disruption. In response, since the imposition, PAI has 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.

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

In addition to technical assistance on the Global Gag Rule, PAI continues to document the in-country harm caused by the policy and we use this evidence to advocate for the end of the Global Gag Rule. Because the policy restrictions are not being 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 defunding of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) further magnifies the effects of the policy and makes it difficult to maintain progress on sexual and reproductive health and rights. 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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