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The permanent repeal would end a nearly 40-year pattern and lead to sustainable progress on health care access, human rights, and gender equity

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today is the one-year anniversary of President Biden's repeal of the global gag rule. The harmful policy has been reinstated, repealed, and reinstated again, ping-ponging with every political party turnover in the White House since President Reagan’s administration. Nearly 40 years of this flip-flopping has disrupted health care access and had a long-term chilling effect. Fear that the global gag rule will be re-imposed in the future stops health care providers and advocates around the world from even discussing abortion options — even when the global gag rule is no longer in place. But next month, Congress has the opportunity to permanently repeal the policy through the FY2022 spending budget.

Last year was the first time ever both the House and Senate proposed foreign aid funding bills that would permanently repeal the global gag rule. In October, the White House National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality highlighted a commitment from the administration to work to end the global gag rule once and for all. Today, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), alongside 45 other senators, released a letter calling for the permanent repeal of the global gag rule in the fiscal year 2022 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Agencies government funding bill.

Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

“While we celebrate a year without the global gag rule, the harm caused by the constant back and forth between its reinstatement and repeal remains a massive challenge to global health. Permanently ending the harmful policy, which disproportionately affects women and girls, young people, and LGBTQ+ people, is long overdue. This would be a monumental victory for global health, human rights, and gender equity. We thank Sen. Chris Coons, in partnership with Sen. Shaheen, and Rep. Barbara Lee, for their many years of advocacy on this issue, and urge Congressional leadership to use the upcoming appropriations bills to end the global gag rule for good.”   

The global gag rule prevents foreign organizations receiving U.S. global health assistance from providing information, referrals, or services for legal abortion or advocating for access to abortion services in their country, even with their own money. It forces health care providers to choose between U.S. global health assistance and the ability to counsel and provide clients with an accurate and full range of safe and legal reproductive health options, ultimately jeopardizing the health of millions of people worldwide. 

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Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable sexual and reproductive health care for all 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, striving to create equitable access to health care. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable education and information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives. Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that supports the independently incorporated Planned Parenthood affiliates operating health centers across the U.S.

  For 50 years, Planned Parenthood Global has supported access to sexual and reproductive health care and advocated for reproductive rights around the world. In partnership with over 70 organizations across eight 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. Each year, our partners provide sexual and reproductive health information and services to nearly 2 million people. 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.