(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), the only woman on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement in response to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement that the Trump administration will further expand the Mexico City Policy, also known as the Global Gag rule. Last month, Shaheen introduced bipartisan legislation with Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) to permanently repeal the dangerous policy.
The Global Gag Rule is an executive order that bans federal funds for foreign non-governmental organizations that use non-U.S. funds to provide abortion services or provide information about abortion as part of comprehensive family planning services. This forces clinics to choose between providing limited reproductive health services while accepting U.S. foreign aid or providing inclusive family planning and reproductive health care with a limited budget.
“This administration’s obsession with attacking women’s reproductive health is egregious and dangerous. Further expanding the Global Gag Rule puts international organizations in an impossible position: provide women the full scope of reproductive health care services or deny critical funding that saves lives. That is unconscionable,” said Shaheen. “While Secretary Pompeo’s announcement was not accompanied by any sort of plan for implementation, his announcement signifies a further expansion of a policy that puts women’s lives at risk around the world and has proven not to achieve its stated aim of reducing abortions. Instead, the Trump administration’s actions threaten access to critical services that prevent maternal deaths, treat HIV and Zika, and provide communities with lifesaving health care. Often times, the groups that the administration is targeting are the only health providers for the most vulnerable populations – restricting their ability to deliver services to women and children around the globe. I have requested more information from the administration about its latest policy against women and girls and am committed to working in a bipartisan manner to ensure that women are not taken further back after making hard-fought gains through the years. Luckily, there is bipartisan support in the Senate to repeal the unwarranted and cruel global gag policy, and I urge congressional leadership in both chambers to allow a vote immediately.”
The Global Gag Rule was rescinded by the Obama administration, only to be reinstated and expanded under the Trump administration.