It’s Global Gag Rule Week

Everyone raise your mighty pens–er, flex your keyboard fingers–it’s Global Gag Rule Week of Action. Here’s the rundown:

The Global Gag Rule: A policy that restricts international organizations receiving U.S. funding from using their own, non-U.S. funding, to provide legal abortion services, advice on where to get an abortion, or to educate the government on the need to make safe abortion available.

Right now: President Obama repealed the Global Gag Rule in January 2009, BUT–

The Policy Problem: The power to repeal or reinstate the Global Gag Rule is left solely in the hands of the president, without congressional oversight. As a result, it’s a game of political football–President Reagan introduced the Global Gag Rule in 1985, President Clinton repealed it in 1993, President George W. Bush reinstated it in 2001, and President Obama repealed it last year. A future administration hostile to reproductive rights could reinstate the policy with nothing more than a signature. 

The Solution: The Global Democracy Promotion Act (H.R. 4879/S. 311). This bill would create a legislative barrier to block attempts by a future administration to reinstate the Global Gag Rule. The measure is necessary to ensure that U.S.-funded organizations can continue to deliver lifesaving information and services that meet the needs of women and families around the world.

What you can do: Take action. The bill has been introduced in the House and the Senate–representatives and senators are paying attention.

For more information, visit the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE) on the web at

Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.

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