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For Immediate Release

Contact

Mariya Parodi, media@aiusa.org

Press Release

Global Coalition of Over 200 Groups Call for Permanent End to Global Gag Rule

WASHINGTON -

A coalition of over 200 international civil society organizations, organized by Planned Parenthood Global and the International Planned Parenthood Federation, released a joint statement today calling for a permanent end to the U.S. global gag rule. The statement — released as part of a week of action to end the global gag rule — was released in Arabic, English, French, and Spanish, demonstrating the diversity of just some of the communities harmed by the rule over the past 37 years.

In addition to the over 200 organizations from 88 countries across six continents that signed the statement today — and countless other people around the world — 70% of Americans favor ending the global gag rule.

Tarah Demant, the director of the Gender, Sexuality, and Identity Program at Amnesty International USA:

"Ending the Gag rule forever is possible, it is urgent and it will make communities here at home as well as communities around the world much safer. It will also speed up the global recovery from COVID-19, advance global health, empower communities, and promote equity and human rights for all. Our lawmakers have an opportunity here and now to make certain that future presidents cannot reinstate the policy or interrupt life-saving health services ever again and now is the moment for them to seize that opportunity."

Dawn Laguens, interim executive director, Planned Parenthood Global:

Study after study has demonstrated that the neocolonialist global gag rule devastates health care access for people around the world, especially those who already face systemic barriers to care. And yet, since 1984, the global gag rule has come and gone with each party shift in the White House. President Biden took an important step by ending this harmful rule for now, but real relief will not be felt until we can permanently end this devastating policy. The global community deserves true partnership from the U.S., but the threat that this destructive policy could reemerge undermines relationships and harms people around the globe. We come together today to tell the U.S. government: It’s time to end the global gag rule once and for all.”

Alvaro Bermejo, director general, International Planned Parenthood Federation: 

"Since its inception, the global gag rule has been a constant threat to the lives of women and girls and their right to decide what happens to their bodies. Designed to deny people safe and legal abortion care, it has also caused unfathomable damage across the health care spectrum — from HIV prevention and treatment to maternal health care. Our member associations on the front lines of care have witnessed this damage first hand. Whilst we applaud President Biden on rescinding the global gag rule, history has shown us that it is ready to be weaponized by coercive, anti-abortion administrations. We urge the U.S. government to break the violent cycle of the global gag rule permanently, so organizations like IPPF can provide life-saving health care without the fear of our ability to deliver being snatched away from us with the stroke of a pen. Together we can work toward a world where no one is left behind when it comes to their sexual and reproductive health and rights." 

The global gag rule prohibits non-governmental organizations in other countries from receiving any U.S. global health assistance if they provide, refer, counsel or advocate for legal abortion in their country — even if these activities are supported solely with non-U.S. funds. This cruel policy was originally imposed by the Reagan administration, before being rescinded in 1993 by President Clinton, and then reinstated in 2001 by President Bush on his first business day in office. President Obama rescinded the global gag rule in January 2009, but less than a decade later, President Trump reimposed and radically expanded the policy, extending its harm and devastation to even more women and communities. President Biden then rescinded the gag rule in a presidential memorandum signed on January 28, 2021.

Marginalized communities — including women and girls, young people, and LGBTQ+ people — have experienced the most devastating constraints on services as a result of the global gag rule. Tragically, this harm does not fully stop even when the policy is not in effect. According to the joint statement:

“The prospect of reinstatement under future administrations casts a long shadow and leaves the health and lives of millions of people vulnerable to the whims of future U.S. presidents… Even when presidents lift the global gag rule immediately upon taking office, high-quality health partners face long delays in resuming participation in U.S. global health programs. Permanent repeal of the policy is urgently needed to promote sustainable progress in global health and to build and maintain long-term partnerships between the U.S. government, local organizations, and the communities that they serve… Urgent action is needed to finally end the global gag rule once and for all and advance health, human rights, and gender equality across the globe.”

The full joint statement can be found here and the full list of signatories is below:

  • ABUBEF (Burundi)
  • ACABEF (Central African Republic)
  • Accountability International (South Africa)
  • Action Against Hunger (United Kingdom)
  • Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights (Canada)
  • Advocates for Youth (United States)
  • Afrihealth Optonet Association (CSOs Network) (Nigeria)
  • AIDOS - Italian Association for Women in Development (Italy)
  • Al Hameed educational society (India)
  • Alliance of Women Advocating for Change (AWAC) (Uganda)
  • Amnesty International (Global)
  • AMPF - Mauritanie (Mauritania)
  • AMPPF (Mali)
  • AnA - Society for Feminist Analyses (Romania)
  • APROSUVI (Guatemala)
  • Asia Catalyst (Thailand)
  • Asia Pacific Alliance for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (Thailand/ Asia Pacific)
  • Asian Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW) (Malaysia)
  • ASSOCIAÇÃO GUINEENSE PARA O BEM ESTAR FAMILIAR (AGUIBEF) (Guinea-Bissau)
  • Associação Para o Planeamento da Família (Portugal)
  • Association Algérienne pour la Planification Familiale (Algeria)
  • Association Béninoise pour la Promotion de la Famille ABPF (Benin)
  • Association Burkinabè pour le Bien Être Familial (ABBEF) (Burkina Faso)
  • Association Centrafricaine pour le Bien Être Familial ( ACABEF) Central African Republic)
  • Association Ivoirienne pour le Bien Être Familial (AIBEF) (Ivory Coast)
  • Association Malienne pour la protection et la Promotion de la Famille (Mali)
  • Association Marocaine de Planification Familiale (Morocco)
  • Association Mauritanienne pour la Promotion de la Famille (Mauritania)
  • Association Nigérienne Pour le Bien Être Familial (ANBEF) (Niger)
  • Association Tchadienne pour le Bien Être Familiale (Chad)
  • ASSOCIATION TOGOLAISE POUR LE BIEN ETRE FAMILIAL (ATBEF) (Togo)
  • Association Tunisienne de la Santé de la Reproduction (ATSR) (Tunisia)
  • ASTRA Network (CEE region/ Poland)
  • ATHENA Network (Namibia)
  • Aube Nouvelle pour l Femme et le Développement (Democratic Republic of Congo)
  • Austrian Family Planning Association (Austria)
  • Bahrain Reproductive Health Association (Bahrain)
  • Bandhu Social Welfare Society (Bangladesh)
  • Barnabas Charity Outreach (Nigeria)
  • Botswana Family Welfare Association (BOFWA) (Botswana)
  • Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA) (Bulgaria)
  • Burnet Institute (Australia)
  • CARE USA (USA)
  • Caribbean Family Planning Affiliation (Antigua & Barbuda)
  • Catalysts for Change (United States)
  • Catholics for Choice (United States)
  • Católicas pelo Direito de Decidir - Brasil (Brazil)
  • Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir - Colombia (Colombia)
  • CEDES - Centro de Estudio de Estado y Sociedad (Argentina)
  • Center for Health, Human Rights and Development (Uganda)
  • Center for Reproductive Rights (USA/ Switzerland/ Global)
  • Centro de Derechos de Mujeres (Honduras)
  • Centro de Promoción y Defensa de los Derechos Sexuales y Reproductivos - PROMSEX (Perú)
  • CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality (Netherlands)
  • CLADEM (Latin America)
  • Corporación MILES (Chile)
  • Danish Family Planning Association (Denmark)
  • Dr Uzo Adirieje Foundation (DUZAFOUND) (Nigeria)
  • DSW (Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung) (Germany)
  • Economic and Social Rights Centre - Hakijamii (Kenya)
  • Egyptian family planning Association (EFPA) (Egypt)
  • ELA - Equipo Latinoamericano de Justicia y Género (Argentina)
  • Equidad de Género, Ciudadanía, Trabajo y Familia (México)
  • Famia Planea Aruba (Aruba)
  • Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia (FGAE) (Ethiopia)
  • Family Health Association of Iran (Iran)
  • Family Medical Point (Uganda)
  • Family Planning Alliance Australia (Australia)
  • Family Planning Association of Trinidad and Tobago (Trinidad & Tobago)
  • FAMILY PLANNING ASSOCIATION OF MALAWI (Malawi)
  • Family Planning Association of Nepal (Nepal)
  • Family Planning Association Sri Lanka (Sri Lanka)
  • Family Planning New Zealand (New Zealand)
  • Family Planning NSW (Australia)
  • Federación Planificación Familiar Estatal (Spain)
  • Federation of Reproductive Health Associations, Malaysia (Malaysia)
  • Feminist League (Kazakhstan)
  • Feminist Task Force (United States)
  • Fiji Women's Rights Movement (Fiji)
  • FILIA Center (Romania)
  • FLAMA Uganda (Uganda)
  • FPA Sri Lanka (Sri Lanka)
  • Friends Affected & Infected Together in Hand (FAITH) (Nepal)
  • Front Association / Feminism-Romania (Romania)
  • Fúndacion Arcoiris por el respeto a la diversidad sexual (México)
  • FUNDACIÓN CEMOPLAF (Ecuador)
  • Fundación Mexicana para la Planeación Familiar, A. C. MEXFAM (México)
  • Fúndacion para estudio e investigación de la Mujer (Argentina)
  • Fundación Pro Salud Sabana Yegua FUNPROSSY (Dominican Republic)
  • Futures Without Violence (United States)
  • Gestos _HIV, Communication and Gender (Brazil)
  • Girl Up Initiative Uganda (Uganda)
  • Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (United States)
  • GreeneWorks (United States)
  • Grupo Multidisciplinario para la Defensa de los derechos sexuales y reproductivos en Guatemala (Guatemala)
  • Guttmacher Institute (United States)
  • Hábitat Mujer Salud (Colombia)
  • Haiti Adolescent Girls Network (Haiti)
  • Health, Ethics and Law Institute of Forum for Medical Ethics Society (India)
  • Heartland Alliance International (United States)
  • Hesperian Health Guides (United States)
  • HIV Legal Network (Canada)
  • Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum (HRAPF) (Uganda)
  • INPPARES (Peru)
  • International Action Network for Gender Equity & Law (IANGEL) (United States)
  • International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion (United Kingdom/ Global)
  • International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) (USA)
  • International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (United Kingdom)
  • International Planned Parenthood Federation East and South East Asia and Oceania Region (ESEAOR) (Malaysia)
  • Ipas (United States)
  • International Planned Parenthood Federation (Global)
  • Irish Family Planning Association (Ireland)
  • Israel Family Planning Association (Open Door) (Israel)
  • Jamaica Family Planning Association (Jamaica)
  • John Snow, Inc. (JSI) (United States)
  • JOICFP (Japanese Organization for International Cooperation in Family Planning) (Japan)
  • Kenya Legal & Ethical Issues Network On HIV & AIDS (Kenya)
  • Kenya Medical Association (Kenya)
  • Kisumu Medical and Education Trust (KMET) (Kenya)
  • Kyetume Community Based Health Care Programme (Uganda)
  • L’ASSOCIATION DJIBOUTIENNE POUR L’ÉQUILIBRE ET LA PROMOTION DE LA FAMILLE (Djibouti)
  • Latin American and Caribbean Women's Health Network (Latin America and the Caribbean)
  • Le Planning familial (France)
  • LI PRIDE (Liberia)
  • Lobi Health Center Foundation (Suriname)
  • LUNA vzw (Belgium)
  • Marie Stopes International (Global)
  • MSI Reproductive Choices (United Kingdom)
  • Mujer Y Salud en Uruguay - MYSU (Uruguay)
  • Network for Adolescent and Youth of Africa (Kenya)
  • Observatorio de la Gobernanza para la Cooperación y el Desarrollo A.C. (México)
  • OutRight Action International (United States)
  • Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association (PFPPA) (Palestine)
  • Pathfinder International (United States)
  • Plan International (United Kingdom)
  • Plan International USA (United States)
  • Plan International, Inc (Global)
  • Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (Ghana)
  • Planned Parenthood Association of Thailand (Thailand)
  • Planned Parenthood Association of Zambia (Zambia)
  • Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria (Nigeria)
  • Planned Parenthood Global (Global)
  • Profamilia (Colombia)
  • Queensway Institute of Technology and Business Studies (Kenya)
  • Raks Thai Foundation (Thailand)
  • RAWSA MENA NETWORK (Tunisia - for the MENA region)
  • Red de Salud de las Mujeres Latinoamericanas y del Caribe (Latin America and the Caribbean)
  • Red Latinoamericana y Caribeña de jóvenes por los Derechos Sexuales y Derechos Reproductivos  REDLAC (México)
  • REDAAS - Red de Acceso al Aborto Seguro Argentina (Argentina)
  • Regional Centre for International Development Cooperation (RCIDC) (Uganda)
  • Reproductive Health Network Kenya (Kenya)
  • Reproductive Health Training Center/Regional SRHR Coalition for EECA (Moldova/ Eastern Europe and Central Asia Regions)
  • RFSU (Sweden)
  • RHAC (Cambodia)
  • Rutgers (Netherlands)
  • SANTE SEXUELLE SUISSE (Switzerland)
  • SCI Foundation (United Kingdom)
  • Sendas (Ecuador)
  • Sensoa (Belgium)
  • SERAC-Bangladesh (Bangladesh)
  • Sex og Politikk (IPPF Norway) (Norway)
  • SEXUL vs BARZA / SEX vs The STORK Association (Romania)
  • SFBSP-BURUNDI (Burundi)
  • Society for Conservation and Sustainability of Energy and Environment in Nigeria (SOCSEEN) (Nigeria)
  • Solidarity Sisters Network of Liberia (SoSNoL) (Liberia, West Africa)
  • Solomon Island Planned Parenthood Association (Solomon Islands)
  • Somaliland Family Health Association (Somaliland)
  • Soroptimist International (United Kingdom)
  • Space Allies (Japan)
  • Stichting EqualA Foundation (Netherlands/ Thailand)
  • Stichting Ultimate Purpose (Suriname)
  • Stop AIDS in Liberia (SAIL) (Liberia)
  • SUDAN Family Planning Association (SFPA) (Sudan)
  • Sukaar Welfare Organization (Pakistan)
  • Support for Women in Agriculture and Environment (SWAGEN) (Uganda)
  • Syrian Family Planning Association (Syria)
  • TAN UX´IL (Guatemala)
  • TDJ-BURUNDI (Burundi)
  • Teens Link Uganda (Uganda)
  • The African Women's Development and Communication Network (FEMNET) (Kenya)
  • The Lebanese Association for Family Health- SALAMA (Lebanon)
  • The Lesbian and Gay Association of Liberia (LEGAL) (Liberia)
  • The Society for Education on Contraception and Sexuality from Romania (Romania)
  • Together for Girls (United States)
  • Trust for Indigenous Culture and health (TICAH) (Kenya)
  • Universal Access Project (United States)
  • Urgent Action Fund for Women's Human Rights (United States)
  • Vidhayak Trust (India)
  • WGNRR AFRICA (Tanzania)
  • William and Flora Hewlett Foundation (USA)
  • Women Deliver (USA)
  • Women Enabled International (USA)
  • Women's Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR) (Philippines)
  • Women's Link Worldwide (Global)
  • Women's Major Group (Global)
  • Women's Refugee Commission (USA)
  • Women’S Way Foundation Suriname (Suriname)
  • Woodhull Freedom Foundation (United States)
  • Yemeni Association for Reproductive Health (Yemen)
  • YouAct - European Youth Network on Sexual and Reproductive Rights (United Kingdom)
  • Young Feminist Europe (Belgium)
  • Youth Association for Development (Pakistan)
  • Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights (YCSRR) (Canada)

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