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Do You Really Know the Global Gag Rule?

Advocacy Guides

How is the Global Gag Rule different under the Trump-Pence administration?

Previous iterations of the Global Gag Rule only applied to family planning assistance from the Department of State and USAID. On May 15, 2017, the Trump-Pence administration approved a plan to expand the policy’s scope, titled “Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance,” which now impacts global health assistance from the State Department, USAID, Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Defense. PAI has detailed the specific restrictions imposed by the expanded Global Gag Rule in order to protect and preserve critical lifesaving health care services to the maximum extent allowable under the policy.

On January 23, 2017, in one of his first actions as president, Donald Trump reinstated and expanded the Global Gag Rule⁠—a policy that risks women’s health and lives by forcing foreign nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to choose between receiving U.S. global health assistance and providing comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care. In order to comply with the Global Gag Rule, providers must agree not to provide information, referrals or services for legal abortion or to advocate for the legalization of abortion in their country with their own, non-U.S. funds.

For decades, PAI has documented the impact of the Global Gag Rule in our research series Access Denied and works with in-country partners as well as champions on Capitol Hill to mitigate its harmful effects. Here, we address common questions and persistent misconceptions about the Global Gag Rule.


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