“The Health of Women Around the World Will Suffer Terribly” Because President Trump Reinstituted Global Gag Rule

Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families

“In reinstituting the Global Gag Rule today, President Trump embraced an extreme anti-choice agenda that undermines high-quality health care and the fundamental American value of free speech. The health of women around the world will suffer terribly as a result.

Also known as the Mexico City Policy, the Global Gag Rule denies U.S. health aid to foreign nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that provide, or simply counsel, refer, pay for or even advocate for abortion services — even if they do so with their own funds. It gags health workers at foreign NGOs, prohibiting them from even counseling women about abortion or referring them to a health care provider who will provide this essential care. When health care providers are forced to withhold information, women cannot make informed decisions about their care. The Global Gag Rule creates ethical conflicts for health care providers and undermines the patient-provider relationship.

Reinstituting and vastly expanding this policy will have a devastating effect on family planning and other health programs worldwide. Their leaders will have to choose between accepting U.S. funding along with the unconscionable restrictions it brings, or cutting services or possibly closing their doors.

This action will mean fewer women can access the family planning services they need, more unintended pregnancies, more unsafe abortions, higher maternal mortality, greater obstacles for efforts to eradicate HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, and more suffering among women and children.

Women worldwide will pay a terrible price for President Trump’s decision to play politics with women’s health.”

About the National Partnership

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, reproductive health and rights, access to quality, affordable health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at NationalPartnership.org.

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