Gag the Gag

Well done, everyone! The Feministing community helped generate more than 700 letters to Congress in response to our call to action about the Global Gag Rule, and now, the GGR just may be on its way to a fortunate end.

Yesterday, the Senate Appropriations committee passed a bill that would permanently overturn the global gag rule. We’re not all the way there; the bill now has to hit the Senate floor for approval, but we’re closer than we’ve been in a long time.

To be clear, the bill doesn’t completely quash the gag rule, but it changes the rules of the game enough that we could breathe a little easier. The bill would make reinstating the Global Gag Rule the responsibility of Congress. Right now, that power lies completely with the President, with no oversight or system of checks and balances. All it takes is his (her!) John Hancock to rescind or reinstate it. Since the GGR was first introduced in 1983, it’s been through quite a cycle–instated by Ronald Reagan in 1983, repealed by Bill Clinton in 1993, reinstated by George W. Bush in 2001, repealed by Barack Obama in 2009. A future administration could reinstate it just as easily, with no one to argue the point. The bill that just cleared the Appropriations Committee would leave all that repealing and reinstating to Congress–a bit more of a challenge.

We, and women around the world, can’t thank you enough. Those 700 letters made a more than a difference. Combined with the efforts of some other very persistent, resilient people and organizations, we’re making progress.

Thank you, and we’ll keep you updated–

The Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE)

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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