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What is it?

One of the most revolting policies the US has ever enacted, the Global Gag Rule (sugarcoated as the Mexico City Policy) cuts back on USAID for non-governmental organizations that look to advocate for the legalization of abortion, provide abortion referrals or any relevant services that allow for the termination of unwanted pregnancies. The policy holds regardless of whether or not the provisions of such services and information in recipient countries is legal. The net result is a lack of funding for international or nationally based healthcare providers who find it difficult to offer basic provisions like condoms, tampons, STI testing, pre-natal, post-natal care and so on.

What are just some of the effects?

This fatal policy unfairly targets:

  1. The Humsafar Trust in India (where it is against the law to be gay), which offers healthcare and advocacy for reproductive liberties for the LGBTQ community.
  2. The United Nations Population Fund in Zambia, which worked to establish an elaborate system of gender-based sex education.
  3. The Planned Parenthood Association of Zambia, which has had to close all but 3 of its 16 clinics providing HIV testing and treatment for rural populations.
  4. Profamilia in Columbia, which has been denied funding for its programs to reduce maternal mortality, prevent the spread of the Zika virus and provide health assistance to communities in conflict zones.
  5. The Kisumu Medical and Education Trust in Kenya, which will now have to charge poor women for contraception that was previously provided free of cost.

In a nutshell:

The Global Gag Rule strips foreign NGOs of integral funding to deliver family planning services, infectious disease prevention, antenatal care, and HIV prevention and treatment provisions.

(Data courtesy of Population Connection Action Fund)

The Global HER Act

What is it?

The Global Health, Empowerment and Rights Act looks to nullify the Global Gag Rule and prevent any future Presidents from unilaterally reinstating it.

The Act states that foreign NGOs will not be unentitled to receive USAID if they choose to provide health services with non-US government funds, if these services are within the bounds of the country’s law and the US federal law (if within the United States’ jurisdiction). Such NGOs will not be targeted with conditions dictating the use of non-US funds for advocacy other than those that apply to US NGOs.

As women equipped with tools to advocate for those who lack basic liberties, education, and resources to maintain a sanitary standard of living and an adequate standard of health, we must do more. To learn more about the issue visit www.iwillfight4her.org. Join Population Connection Action Fund in order to #Fight4HER. Lobby your Reps to co-sponsor the HER Act in the Congress. Sign the petition. Come together. Raise your voice. Show solidarity. Project involvement. Engage. Educate. Empower. Because reproductive healthcare must not be a privilege, it must come forth as a right.



Uswa Mutaal

Drexel '23

Uswa is a freshman at Drexel University, majoring in Political Science.
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