Why we will not sign the Global Gag Rule

Why we will not sign the Global Gag Rule

On 23 January 2017 President Trump signed an executive order reinstating the Global Gag Rule, or the Mexico City Policy. 

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) believes in the right of every individual to decide about their own health and well-being.  As an organisation that seeks to protect and improve the lives of women, men and children around the world, IPPF and its partners in 170 countries will not sign a policy that denies human rights and puts the lives of women at risk.  

The Global Gag Rule denies U.S. funding to organisations like IPPF if they use money from other donors to provide abortion services, counselling or referrals—even if abortion is legal in a country.

It blocks critical funding for health services like contraception, maternal health, and HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment for any organisation that refuses to sign it.

When it has been enacted by previous Republican Presidents, evidence has shown that the Global Gag Rule has not reduced the number of abortions; rather, by eliminating access to contraception, it has led to more unintended pregnancies and more unsafe abortions.    

IPPF is the largest non-governmental provider of contraception in the world. It has worked with the U.S. government for decades. Our global network of local partners delivers more than 300 services every minute of every day, including 70 million contraceptive services every year. 

The Global Gag Rule’s reinstatement will result in additional unintended pregnancies and countless other needless injuries and deaths.

It means IPPF will lose $100 million USD for proven programs that provide comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services for millions of women and youth who otherwise go without these vital services, including women suffering the burden of health and humanitarian crises. 

Over the years USAID has been a huge supporter of family planning – with a budget of over $600 million per year. Reinstatement will mean that years of progress to increase access to essential services globally, will be lost.

We cannot—and will not—deny life-saving services to the world’s poorest women.  We will work with governments and donors to bridge the funding and service gaps the Global Gag Rule creates. We will ensure that women can exercise their rights and access safe abortion and family planning. 


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