Congress moves to repeal the global gag rule, increase funding for international family planning
WASHINGTON — Today, Planned Parenthood commends the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations for releasing a strong budget bill that increases funding and protections for reproductive health and rights across the globe. The FY 2020 State and Foreign Operations bill would increase U.S. funding for international family planning programs, restore and increase assistance to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and fully repeal the expanded and harmful global gag rule.
Statement from Dr. Leana Wen, President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
We applaud our reproductive health champions in Congress for taking action to restore funding and protections for the health and rights of individuals and families around the world. We know that when we invest in global health, we save lives, transform communities, and change the trajectory for generations to come.
By repealing the global gag rule that plays politics with women’s lives, this bill will help ensure that people around the world can access life-saving services, like antiretrovirals, birth control, and even basic information about reproductive health care. It is time for Congress to end the Trump-Pence administration’s devastating global gag rule once and for all.
The FY 2020 State and Foreign Operations bill includes:
The Global HER Act, which would permanently repeal the global gag rule. It also blocks current or previous funding from being used to implement this harmful policy. President Trump vastly expanded the policy rule twice, which blocks international organizations from receiving any U.S. global health assistance if they provide, counsel, refer or advocate for abortion services – even if they are doing so with separate, non-U.S. funds, and even if abortion is legal in their country.
Significant increase in funding ($175 million) for international family planning programs, which is a sound rejection of the Trump-Pence administration’s proposed extreme funding cuts.
Restored and increased funding for the UNFPA, which provides reproductive and maternal health services in more than 150 countries in conflict and humanitarian settings.
In January, Planned Parenthood Global released an impact report, making clear that, due to the expanded global gag rule, people around the world are losing access to vital health education and services – from antiretrovirals for people with HIV, to nutritional support for children, to contraceptive information for women. One hundred sixty-nine diverse organizations oppose the global gag rule, including domestic and global reproductive health and justice, human rights, public health, anti-trafficking, and refugee organizations.
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 Federation of America has supported access to sexual and reproductive health care and advocated for reproductive rights around the world through our international arm, Planned Parenthood Global. In partnership with more than 100 organizations across 12 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 reached over a million people with sexual and reproductive health information and services provided by our partners. 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.