CNN: How Melania's 'Be Best' Campaign overlooks the Global Gag Rule

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In 2017, President Trump dramatically expanded the Global Gag Rule, which cuts all US Government funding for foreign organizations that promote or provide safe abortion services.

Recent CNN coverage explains that the effects of this policy are immense for global reproductive health and women’s rights, and have begun to negatively affect family planning progress in low-income countries around the world. In many countries, women’s health organizations are fighting to continue providing family planning services despite vast gaps in funding:

“MSI, a London-based pro-choice group and service provider, says that the $60 million gap caused by the US freeze on its funding could result in more than two million unintended pregnancies globally.”

US First Lady Melania Trump recently took her first solo tour through Malawi, Ghana, Kenya and Egypt to promote her ‘Be Best’ campaign, which advocates for women’s and children’s health. However, the goals of her campaign are at odds with the policy that her husband enacted. Women are facing even greater challenges to their reproductive health because organizations are forced to deny them necessary assistance.

“In Malawi, women often resort to seeing traditional healers who use poisonous concoctions to terminate pregnancies. The resulting trauma frequently ends in sepsis and sometimes death.”

Malawian adovocate and SheDecides chair Tikhala Itaye had a clear message for the first lady:

"As a woman herself, Melania would already understand these issues. She should be able to freely say what women want. No man should be able make policy that decides for us."



Our Global Impact Last Year


women using a MSI
method of contraception


unintended pregnancies


unsafe abortions prevented


pregnancy-related deaths prevented