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Report Details Devastating Disruptions in Health Care Around the World, Yet State Department Still Minimizes Impact

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of State released a report on the global gag rule, confirming what global health organizations and advocates have known for years — the global gag rule dangerously disrupts access to health care. Despite the State Department’s claims to the contrary, the latest report outlines a profound impact of the policy on U.S. global health assistance. The report clearly outlines disruptions in care, across a range of global health programs, including HIV/AIDS, family planning and reproductive health, tuberculosis, and nutrition. Tragically, communities who already face the greatest barriers to care have experienced the most disruption in services.

This long awaited report follows two other reports from the U.S. government: a six-month review released by the State Department in February of 2018, which presented an incomplete and insufficient analysis of the impact of the global gag rule; and a report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), which identified at least 54 instances (seven prime recipients and 47 subrecipients) where awards were lost as a result of the global gag rule. 

Statement from Monica Kerrigan, executive director, Planned Parenthood Global: 

“Signed in its first week in office, the global gag rule was among the first of many attacks the administration would launch against human rights. Study after study has demonstrated that this policy has inflicted a crushing blow to health care access for people around the world, especially those who already face systemic barriers to care, including women and girls, young people, and LGBTQ+ people. No matter how much the State Department attempts to minimize the policy’s true impact, its latest report demonstrates what we already knew: the global gag rule is disrupting health care access for communities around the world, which is especially critical now as we face the COVID-19 pandemic. All people deserve access to health care from the most qualified providers, no matter where they live. Planned Parenthood will continue the fight to end the global gag rule once and for all.”

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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.