A World Without Choice:
The Global Gag Rule
With the election of Joe Bien and Kamala Harris, we hope to see Trump’s Global Gag Rule rescinded. In January 2017, President Trump reinstated the Global Gag Rule – an executive order that blocks us from US Government funding if we provide or discuss legal abortion care, even with our own resources. The Global Gag Rule goes against our core principles, and we could never agree to its conditions.
We know that providing women with contraception and safe abortion gives them control over their own bodies and destinies, and saves their lives. But this harmful policy, which was expanded further in March 2019, is cutting off women’s access to family planning worldwide – stripping them of their individual choice and agency, and putting their lives and futures at risk. It may be months before it is rescinded and until then, women will suffer.
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The Global Gag Rule contributed to 5.2 million women being denied access to MSI's services and care during Trump's first term.
Donors worldwide responded generously in 2017 when the Global Gag Rule was reinstated, and we secured short-term replacement funding for many at-risk programs.
But the Global Gag Rule restricted MSI's ability to grow our programs to reach even more women and adolescent girls.
In Cambodia, a US Government-funded program brought family planning education into garment factories so that workers like Si Yim could earn a living without fear of an unplanned pregnancy. Now that the program has closed, thousands of women like Si will have to look for contraception elsewhere.
Outreach teams travel to remote locations in Uganda, providing family planning services to women like Mudua in communities where other reproductive care options are scarce. Five outreach teams have already closed due to lack of funding, and another 22 are at risk.
Alima, Burkina Faso
Several Marie Stopes Ladies like Alima, local midwives who deliver services in their communities, are at risk of losing their jobs because of the Global Gag Rule. The clients who rely on their care will have to find another way to access contraception, maternal health care and cervical cancer screenings.