Biden put in a temporary fix to stop this international human rights violation that kills women. Now we need to pass some laws.
- Action #1: Remove the “Global Gag Rule” permanently through legislation!
- Action #2: Quantify the damage. Pass H.R.3576/S.1864 – Reproductive Rights are Human Rights Act.
Action #1: Remove the global gag rule permanently through legislation!
Biden’s action to rescind the #GlobalGagRule was important, but it’s a temporary fix. The laws to permanently repeal it are H.R.556/S.142 – Global HER Act and H.R.1670 – Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act. This legislation would protect access to sexual and reproductive health care across the globe from the whims of future U.S. presidents. But we don’t have endless time to do this. GOP legislators have already proposed misogynistic legislation of their own to make the gag rule permanent.
Minimum script for our representatives: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want to thank Rep. [___] for supporting the health and lives of women worldwide by cosponsoring the H.R.556 – Global HER Act and H.R.1670 – Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act. Please get these bills passed now!
Minimum script for our senators: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want to thank Rep. [___] for supporting the health and lives of women worldwide by cosponsoring the S.142 – Global HER Act. Please get this passed now!
Minimum script for non-cosponsoring legislators: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Rep./Sen. [___] to truly honor women worldwide by permanently repealing the #GlobalGagRule to protect access to sexual and reproductive health care across the globe from the whims of future U.S. presidents by supporting H.R.556/S.142 – Global HER Act and H.R.1670 – Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act.
Action #2: Quantify the damage. Pass H.R.3576/S.1864 – Reproductive Rights are Human Rights Act.
Not knowing facts allows legislators who promote repressive measures to escape from answering for their results. For example, for over two decades, the Dickey Amendment of 1996 removed federal funding from the CDC’s studies of gun violence, allowing the NRA’s propaganda machine to continue unhindered by gruesome facts that cause legislators to “advocate or promote gun control.” Not knowing how many injuries and deaths are caused by the U.S. Global Gag Rule, similarly allows the GOP to ignore another kind of body count.
Minimum script for Reps/Sens.: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want to Rep./Sen. [___] to push for the passage of H.R.3576/S.1864 – Reproductive Rights are Human Rights Act. The inhumane consequences of any U.S. actions that limit access to reproductive health care should be quantifies and made public.
More information on these bills…
- H.R.556/S.142 – Global HER Act (Global Health, Empowerment and Rights Act) makes Biden’s repeal of the “Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance,” also known as the “global gag rule” permanent. The Global Gag Rule, which was reinstated and radically expanded by President Trump in 2017, prohibits foreign organizations receiving U.S. global health assistance from providing information, referrals, or services for legal abortion or advocating for the legalization of abortion in their country, even if these activities are supported solely with non-U.S. funds. Over the past 4 years this policy has undermined the impact of U.S. investments in global health programs and efforts to improve the health of women, girls, and other communities by impeding access to family planning and other critical health services and cutting off funding to many experienced health care providers.
- H.R.1670 – Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act – removes the Helms Amendment which has prohibited the use of U.S. foreign assistance to provide abortion services for nearly 50 years and replaces it with language that would allow the U.S. to support comprehensive reproductive health care–including abortion. It would amend the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to authorize the use of funds for comprehensive reproductive health careservices, and for other purposes
- H.R.3576/S.1864 – Reproductive Rights are Human Rights Act– Requires the State Department to report on contraception and abortion access, STD rates and prevention efforts, maternal health, and rates and causes of pregnancy-related injuries and deaths in its annual Country Report on Human Rights Practices
Deeper Dive – How the GOP kills women in other countries and what are their ultimate goals…
Are we exaggerating about the deaths? No. Watch this video.
The international community’s statement of reproductive rights.
What the Trump Administration did instead.
The already destructive Global Gag Rule expanded under the Trump administration to ban U.S. assistance for health care providers who even mention the word abortion. As a result, clinics closed. People were forced to seek unsafe abortion procedures, with sometimes deadly consequences. And communities were left stranded without access to comprehensive health care and it literally killed people.
(CNN) Beyond US borders, the impact of Trump’s expanded Mexico City Policy, formally called “Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance,” has “really been devastating,” said Melvine Ouyo, a Nairobi-based reproductive health nurse and former clinic director at Family Health Options Kenya. “So many lives were lost.”
The policy, also known as the “global gag rule,” has been instituted by Republican administrations since President Ronald Reagan and repealed by Democratic ones. A State Department review published last year of the Trump administration’s policy to bar funding for foreign nonprofits that perform or promote abortions found it has also affected efforts to treat tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS as well as to deliver nutritional assistance, among other programs, and has had significant impact in sub-Saharan Africa.
Advocates and practitioners like Ouyo say the deaths result from the cuts to health care of all kinds for women, including access to contraception, which sends them in search of illegal, often unsafe and deadly abortions.
“This global gag rule has been one of the most detrimental policies to women’s lives, especially women coming from marginalized communities,” Ouyu told CNN. “Biden really has a lot to do.”
In January of 2021, President Joe Biden signed a presidential memorandum to reverse restrictions on abortion access domestically and abroad imposed and expanded by the Trump administration. The memorandum will “reverse my predecessor’s attack on women’s health access,” Biden told reporters during a signing ceremony in the Oval Office.
Even though the policy is no longer official policy, it’s still causing harm. Partnerships were disrupted under the Gag Rule, and some clinics that closed have been unable to reopen. Even worse, the threat of the Gag Rule’s return has a deep, widespread chilling effect. Clinics are hesitant to dedicate scarce resources to programs that may be shut down, which means vulnerable people are still being left without access to the care they need.
Both the GOP and Democrats know that the Global Gag Rule is a political football in a game that only presidents play. The only way to call the game is to enact legislation. We have the Global HER Act, but the GOP’s usual suspects have already proposed their own legislation – the “American Values Act,” which would permanently enact and expand existing prohibitions on the use of U.S. foreign assistance to pay for the performance or promotion of abortion services overseas.
We must end these ongoing impacts by making sure that a future president can never unilaterally impose this policy again. That’s what the Global HER Act does. It will block such a reimposition and provide needed stability to health care providers and the people in vulnerable communities around the world who they serve.
The attack on women’s rights is a progression of erosion, both here and abroad. Abortion is just the first target.
We are not immune to this!
Quotes from the “Access Restricted” video above on international movements: “…What we are seeing is global movements fighting women’s rights…We shouldn’t confuse the bans on abortion with BEING about abortion. What we see is that is they’re really about controlling women – women’s sexuality, women’s lives – and they’re usually part of a much broader agenda that also includes cutting access to contraceptives, to sexuality education, and generally having a view of women have a being wives and mothers foremost. It’s important to understand it in that context and not as an isolated issue.“
“Abortion is about reproductive health care. Jail sentences for medical staff who helped individuals procure abortion seeks to destroy and erode the patient and doctor relationship, legitimizing the idea that individuals cannot make the choice for themselves.”