Statement by Vicki Saporta, President and CEO of the National Abortion Federation (NAF), on President Trump’s Executive Order reinstating the Global Gag Rule:
President Trump’s decision to reinstate the Global Gag Rule will endanger already vulnerable women by further curtailing their access to accurate information and safe reproductive health care services.
Originally authored during the Reagan Administration, the Global Gag Rule prohibits international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that receive U.S. government funds from using their own private funds to provide abortions. The policy also prevents NGOs from lobbying their own government for a change in abortion laws, conducting public education campaigns about abortion, referring women to safe abortion providers, or even providing medically accurate counseling about abortion to their clients.
This draconian policy has been devastating for the millions of women in developing nations who rely upon NGOs for essential health care services. In many countries, NGOs are the only health care providers in rural areas. Since many clinics offer comprehensive health care services in addition to family planning, the loss of funding under the Global Gag Rule has meant that children have not been immunized, couples have not been able to receive HIV testing and treatment, and families have not been able to access malaria services.
The U.S. should be a leader in promoting women’s health and human rights around the world instead of using foreign aid as a tool to limit women’s access to health care. Organizations should not be disqualified from receiving U.S. assistance because they use their own funds to provide health services and information that are legal in their home country and legal in the United States.
The policy was rescinded by President Clinton in 1993, re-implemented by President G.W. Bush on his first day in office in 2001, and then rescinded by President Obama in 2009.
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The National Abortion Federation (NAF) is the professional association of abortion providers. Our members include individuals, private and non-profit clinics, Planned Parenthood affiliates, women’s health centers, physicians’ offices, and hospitals who together care for approximately half the women who choose abortion in the U.S. and Canada each year. Our members also include public hospitals and both public and private clinics in Mexico City and private clinics in Colombia. Our mission is to ensure safe, legal, and accessible abortion care, which promotes health and justice for women.
Alissa Manzoeillo, National Abortion Federation
202.667.5881, ext 219; 202.595.4395 (after hours/cell)