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The Global Gag Rule and Maternal Deaths Due to Unsafe Abortion


The Helms amendment to foreign assistance legislation, in effect since 1973, prevents U.S. funds from being used for abortion-related activities. Since 2001, the gag rule has gone further by making NGOs ineligible for U.S. funds even if these activities are carried out with non-U.S. funds. NGOs are forced to choose between receiving U.S. funds — often their primary source of support — and providing women with counseling and care that they may desperately want and need, especially if coping with an unwanted pregnancy.

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