Photo of Prabh Virk at Abortion Ban Rally

#Fight4HER Campaign

Former #Fight4HER organizer Prabh Virk rallies to end the Global Gag Rule in Washington, DC.

#Fight4HER is our grassroots campaign focused on expanding access to safe, affordable, and comprehensive reproductive health care worldwide by:

The Global Gag Rule penalizes foreign health care providers that provide a full range of information and services that are legal within their own countries. It stifles democratic participation by prohibiting assistance to organizations that speak out about the impact of unsafe abortion in their own countries.

The Helms Amendment has been used to ban foreign assistance from funding abortion services under any circumstances, even in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the pregnant person.

It is simply impossible to have a serious discussion about reproductive health and maternal mortality in the developing world without discussing the importance of safe abortion access. The Global Gag Rule and the Helms Amendment are two of the most odious policies ever enacted on foreign assistance funding—they erode access to comprehensive reproductive health care, including abortion. And it is time for both policies to end, permanently.

[Written on September 29, 2023]

Congress is a mess. As we approach the press deadline for this publication, the federal government is likely to shut down because House Republicans are allowing their most extreme wing to control the entire agenda. Every spending bill that came out of the House Appropriations Committee was largely a right-wing wish list filled with provisions attacking reproductive freedom, public education, and the human rights of LGBTQ people. Still, Republican “leaders” are unable to bring bills to the floor because of objections from people in their own party like Reps. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) and Matt Gaetz (R-FL). They are insisting that bills that are already too extreme to have any hope of passing the Senate should be made even more regressive.

Every congressional district matters to the red and blue distribution of House and Senate seats, but some races are more competitive and therefore more consequential than others. We’ve selected six locations around the country where we’ve worked before to reinvigorate our #Fight4HER campaign. These are places where we have dedicated activists who have helped us influence races since 2016, which was when a now twice-impeached and four-times-indicted former president lost the popular vote but won enough electoral votes to set this country back by decades on reproductive rights, environmental protection, poverty alleviation, and countless other critical issues.

In the spring of 2022, voters saw what happens when bullies, misogynists, and gullible people pleasers hold tightly to the reins of power. The overturning of Roe v. Wade shocked the country and the world, but it shouldn’t have. As soon as Trump started appointing Supreme Court justices, the nationwide right to abortion was on its way out.

And it isn’t just abortion access in this country that’s being threatened. It’s the right to contraceptives. It’s investments in family planning programs across the country and around the world. And it’s the right of people everywhere to choose their own destinies. The consequences of these actions are catastrophic. From climate change to poverty, hunger to water scarcity, maternal and child mortality to gender inequality, there’s barely a problem the world faces that isn’t exacerbated by denying people the right to make their own choices about whether, when, and with whom to have children.

The 257 million women around the world who want to prevent or delay pregnancy but have an unmet need for contraceptives can’t afford for us to let history repeat itself. That’s why our #Fight4HER campaign will be working in these key communities to raise the alarm and ensure that voters, public officials, and candidates all understand that reproductive freedom is central to building a stronger, safer, healthier world.

If you want to join us in our efforts over the coming year—especially if you live in one of our target locations (Phoenix, Tucson, Las Vegas, Manchester, NH, Columbus, OH, and the Lehigh Valley, PA)—please get in touch!

Rebecca Harrington

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