Shaheen Statement on Biden Reversal of Harmful Global Gag RuleJanuary 28, 2021
**Shaheen leads the bipartisan effort in the Senate to permanently repeal the Global Gag Rule**
**Study shows the Global Gag Rule impacts a wide range of programs and has vast negative consequences for critical health services**
(Washington, DC) —U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member and the only woman on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement ahead of President Biden’s executive order reversing the Global Gag Rule (GGR), also known as the Mexico City Policy.
The GGR 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. The ill-conceived policy was rescinded by the Obama administration, only to be reinstated and expanded under the Trump administration. President Trump expanded the policy numerous times during his term in office to unprecedented levels, all of which Senator Shaheen vehemently opposed.
“The Global Gag Rule has had a sweeping effect on lifesaving health care in some of the most vulnerable parts of the world. It is shameful that the Trump administration chose to not only implement but exponentially expand this ill-conceived policy to historic proportions. I’m relieved that President Biden has made rescinding this policy an early priority. This is an important first step to restore access to family planning services and mitigate the damage caused by an administration that pursued this dangerous policy without regard for its impact,” said Shaheen. “The data doesn’t lie. We know how detrimental this policy has been – how it likely contributed to increased maternal deaths, unsafe abortions and compromised access to critical care. Rescinding this rule is the start but it is not enough – there needs to be a permanent fix. That is why today I will reintroduce my bipartisan bill, the Global HER Act. The Global HER Act would permanently repeal this policy so women and their families around the world can trust that they will have access to reproductive medical services and so international organizations on the frontlines can carry out their missions to deliver care without worrying if they’ll have to choose between limiting care for patients or losing funding. Enough is enough.”
A member of both the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees, Senator Shaheen has been a fierce advocate for women and girls around the globe, including advocating on behalf of family planning and women’s global health, spearheading efforts to end gender-based violence, authoring legislation to address barriers that girls around the world face in accessing education and securing women leadership roles in conflict resolution and peace negotiations.
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