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Today, on the heels of International Women’s Day, Senator Barbara Boxer reintroduced a bill that would end a harmful, 30-year-old policy that has played politics with women’s health and lives around the world.

The Global Democracy Promotion Act (GDPA) would permanently repeal the global gag rule. When in place, the gag rule interferes with the doctor-patient relationship, limits free speech, and impedes women’s access to health services — including safe, legal abortion. It does this by prohibiting foreign organizations that receive U.S. international family planning funds from:

  • providing information, referrals, or services for legal abortion; or
  • advocating for the legalization of abortion in their own country.

These restrictions are so far reaching that they apply even if the foreign organization receiving U.S. family planning funds for other activities uses its own, non-U.S. funding to support these activities.

Watch Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, explain the impact of this harmful policy:

About the Global Gag Rule and the GDPA

The global gag rule is not currently in effect, but every year opponents of women’s health make numerous attempts to reinstate it. It also hurts women’s health around the world by causing uncertainty and confusion about what kinds of activities are legal and when.

The GDPA would change all that. It would block a future president from reinstating the global gag rule. By preventing politics from interfering with women’s health, it would benefit women and families around the world.

What You Can Do

As the world’s largest bilateral family planning donor, the United States should build on progress for women around the world — not stand in its way.  Let’s make our voices heard in support of this bill! Call on your congressional delegation to co-sponsor the GDPA and demonstrate their support for women worldwide.

Tags: Global, Global Gag Rule

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