The EHF joins the international coalition against Trump’s Global Gag Rule

16 February 2017

The EHF joins the international coalition against President Trump’s reinstatement of the so-called Mexico City Policy, also known as the Global Gag Rule, intended to block federal funding for international groups that provide access to (or information about) medical abortions.

This policy has been favored by each and every Republican President since Ronald Reagan. President Trump is no exception. He however went one step further and actually extended it from family planning organization to all global health organizations.

The photograph of the President signing this legislation surrounded by seven white men went viral on the Web; the absence of women did not go unnoticed given that abortion is nothing but a women’s health care issue.

Behind the picture, however, remain facts, compelling one to consider the actual consequences of such a ban: figures show that an estimated 225 million women in developing countries would like to delay or stop childbearing but are not using any method of contraception today. Besides, over 800 women and girls die every day of pregnancy complications and over 100 die because of unsafe abortions worldwide.

The Global Gag Rule only concerns international NGO’s. The decision therefore does not lead to banning abortion in the US, even though during his campaign Mr. Trump never hid the fact that he was also in favour of a domestic abortion ban.

For now, though, women's rights campaigners and international health providers in developing countries will be the most impacted by the rule, as many of them heavily depend on US funds for their subsistence. Moreover, most of those organizations are also providing access to family planning and HIV/AIDS prevention in countries were these are vitally needed. So with the signature of a single decree, President Trump deprived millions of the poorest women and girls in the world from comprehensive care, proper prevention and information on the their own reproductive choices.

The EHF, along with a host of organizations worldwide, stands against the reestablishing of the Global Gag Rule and joined the global NGO statement condemning this policy. It furthermore supports the Global Fundraising Initiative “She Decides” launched by the Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen. The financial contributions for this project will be made available to organizations affected by the US legislation and will help to support reproductive health initiatives in developing countries.

Read the Global NGO Statement here.

What can you do?

  • To donate or share the initiative, you can visit the website here: https://www.shedecides.eu/
  • As a citizen, you can also sign a petition launched by Population Action International here.