U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand joined 45 colleagues in a letter to Senate and House leadership urging the inclusion of a permanent repeal of the Global Gag Rule (GGR) in the FY22 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Agencies government funding legislation. The announcement of this letter coincided with the one-year anniversary of President Biden’s executive order rescinding the dangerous policy that was reinstated and expanded to historic proportions during the Trump administration.
“As a global health leader, our nation’s investments in global health programs have a significant and sustained impact. Last year, U.S. international family planning and reproductive health assistance made it possible for more than 27 million women to receive contraceptive services and prevented 19,000 maternal deaths,” said Senator Gillibrand. “The dangerous global gag rule – also known as the Mexico City Policy – was one of the Trump administration’s most dangerous and far–reaching policies, reducing access to vital global health programs, contraception, and services. It also increased the number of unsafe abortions performed globally. I’m joining my colleagues in urging leadership to seize this opportunity to permanently repeal this harmful policy that threatens women’s access to critical health care.”
The impact of the Global Gag Rule is far-reaching, and due to the Trump administration’s actions, severely impacted the ability of global health organizations to provide care and services to some of the most vulnerable areas around the world, where these groups are often the only source of medical care for communities. The Global Gag Rule, also known as the Mexico City Policy, bans federal funds for foreign non-governmental organizations that use non-U.S. funds to provide abortion services or provide information about abortion as part of comprehensive family planning services. This forces clinics to choose between providing limited reproductive health services while accepting U.S. foreign aid or providing inclusive family planning and reproductive health care with a limited budget. The senators also addressed the adverse effects of the constant implementing and rescinding of the policy, which is subject to each administration, and the time lapses of communicating and implementing such significant policy changes.
This letter is led by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). In addition to Senator Gillibrand (D-NY), this letter is signed by U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Patty Murray (D-WA), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Ed Markey (D-MA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Tina Smith (D-MN), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Jack Reed (D-RI), Angus King (I-ME), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Bob Casey (D-PA), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Martin Heinrich (R-NM), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Gary Peters (D-MI), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Mark Warner (D-VA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Tom Carper (D-DE), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Jon Ossoff (D-GA) and Jon Tester (D-MT).
To read the full letter, please click here.