WASHINGTON — New polling released today shows that an overwhelming majority of Americans believe the global gag rule should be overturned. According to the research, 70% of Americans favor ending the global gag rule so that funding for global health can resume without restrictions. Over 60% of respondents expressed fairly major or very major concerns about the policy’s many consequences, including the danger of restricting health care in low-income countries amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier this month, the administration published a proposed rule for public comment seeking to expand the policy.
Statement from Monica Kerrigan, executive director, Planned Parenthood Global:
“Americans strongly agree — the global gag rule is a devastating policy that needs to go. Studies by research institutions, and the State Department itself, have outlined the disastrous impact the global gag rule has had on health care access around the world, including on contraceptive access. And this latest polling confirms that the American people do not support this policy. As COVID-19 continues to claim lives and devastate communities, now is the time to be expanding health care access, not taking it away.”
Since 2017, the global gag rule has prohibited foreign non-governmental organizations from receiving any U.S. global health assistance if they provide information, referrals, or services for legal abortion, or advocate for the legalization of abortion in their country, even if these activities are supported solely with non-U.S. funds. The administration has already expanded this harmful policy twice, first to apply to all global health assistance, and again by extending the gag to any funds, from any source, that flow through a gagged organization.
Last month, the U.S. Department of State itself released a report on its own global gag rule, confirming that the rule dangerously disrupts access to health care. Despite the State Department’s claims to the contrary, the report outlined a profound impact of the policy on U.S. global health assistance, clearly describing disruptions in care across a range of global health programs, including HIV/AIDS, family planning and reproductive health, tuberculosis, and nutrition. Partners of Planned Parenthood Global — the Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and the African Population and Health Research Center — also recently released research detailing how the administration’s global gag rule has disrupted health care access in Kenya and harmed individuals and communities. Nearly 170 diverse global health groups explicitly oppose the administration’s global gag rule and there is widespread support in Congress to repeal it entirely.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.
For more than 45 years, Planned Parenthood Global has supported access to sexual and reproductive health care and advocated for reproductive rights around the world. In partnership with more than 100 organizations across 9 focus countries in Africa and Latin America, we advance the health and rights of young people, women and families, with an emphasis on the most vulnerable and underserved. Last year, our partners provided over 1.8 million people with sexual and reproductive health information and services. Our unique sustainability model sets us apart, as we empower partners to stand on their own. We help grassroots organizations develop solid reproductive health programs, identify other sources of funding, build their communications and advocacy skills, and develop strategic plans. Planned Parenthood Global is the international arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.