Statement on Administration Guidance on Global Gag Rule by Brian Dixon, Senior Vice President

For Immediate Release: May 15, 2017

The attempt to “rebrand” the radically-expanded Global Gag Rule as “Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance” is just more brazen gaslighting by the Trump administration.

Trump’s Global Gag Rule is a devastating attack on public health programs and a disaster for vulnerable people – especially women and girls – throughout the developing world.

The Global Gag Rule doesn’t protect lives; it destroys them. It causes health clinics to close; it causes contraceptive shortages; it significantly reduces access to critical reproductive health care; and it, not surprisingly, causes dramatic increases in unsafe abortion. Rather than recognizing the utter failure of the policy, this administration has expanded its breadth, threatening global efforts to fight malaria and Ebola and Zika and HIV. And it will stifle efforts to address the challenge that unsafe abortion poses throughout the developing world.

After President Obama lifted the Global Gag Rule in 2009, the world made enormous progress in improving maternal and child health. In Nepal, for example, after the policy was lifted and U.S. support for reproductive health programs resumed, the maternal mortality rate fell by a third. That progress is now threatened.

In Kenya, Family Health Options of Kenya (FHOK) will likely lose more than half its overall funding. Half of its clinics–critical in the fight against gender based violence and HIV—are at risk of closure.

The Global Gag Rule has never protected the life of a single person. Trump’s dramatic expansion of the policy needlessly threatens the lives and wellbeing of millions. The most disgusting part is that Trump doesn’t care.

Contact: Brian Dixon