News @ JSI

Concerns about Global Gag Rule in Foreign Policy Magazine

March 27, 2017

In a feature published in Foreign Policy magazine, The Global Gag Rule: America’s Deadly Export, author Jill Filipovic examines the dangerous and deadly consequences of the Trump administration’s newly reinstated Mexico City Policy, also known as the Global Gag Rule. The policy revokes U.S. financial support from organizations that “perform or actively promote” abortions abroad. The Global Gag Rule was first introduced by Ronald Reagan, later repealed by Bill Clinton, reintroduced by George W. Bush and repealed again by Barack Obama. Donald Trump’s order, however, is more aggressive than its predecessors. The new policy “encompasses all global health funding, not just funds earmarked for family planning,” which leaves some $9.5 billion allocated for global health funding vulnerable to cuts.

Health care workers in countries like Ghana and Niger, which are disproportionately affected by the rule, express concerns that the policy will block organizations like JSI from participating in conversations regarding contraception and family planning.

In the article, health workers emphasize the pivotal role of JSI’s involvement in such meetings, and decry the harsh restrictions the policy puts on companies that, like JSI, receive much of their funding from USAID. The rule blocks implementation agencies that receive US foreign assistance funding from partnering with groups like International Planned Parenthood Federation and Marie Stopes International, two international nonprofits working to give underprivileged women access to contraception and abortion services. Interviews with health care workers from these organizations shed light on the public health disaster that will occur if groups are denied the opportunity to provide aid and edification to organizations responsible for dispensing lifesaving prenatal care.

Ultimately, Filipovic’s essay illustrates the profoundly negative impact the Global Gag Rule policy will have on the health and safety of vulnerable women and girls in developing nations. The rule is highly disruptive to JSI, which stands firmly with organizations that provide services like abortion and postabortion care. JSI would like to convey unequivocal opposition to the rule, a policy that will negatively affect millions of women in the developing world.

Read the article,The Global Gag Rule: America's Deadly Export on the Foreign Policy website. For more information on the issue, read Joel Lamstein’s blog on the Global Gag Rule in the Huffington Post, The Mexico City Policy does not Actually Consider Women’s Health.