Today is International Women’s Day, and over one year ago, on the heels of the largest day of protest in U.S. history and a truly global moment of solidarity on women’s rights, the newly inaugurated president resurrected and radically expanded the harmful global gag rule, a policy that restricts access to abortion and causes severe harm to women around the world. For the first time in the history of this policy, it targets international organizations who work on any U.S. funded global health program, including HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, maternal and child health, and Zika programs.
The Granite State’s own Senator Jeanne Shaheen led the charge to end the global gag rule by sponsoring the Global Health, Empowerment, and Rights (HER) Act. Women’s health care champions Senator Maggie Hassan, Congresswoman Annie Kuster, and Congresswoman Carol Shea Porter all stand with unwavering support for Planned Parenthood and the health care it provides.
While women across the globe are standing up for access to care, Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund and supporters are fighting attempts to undermine women’s health right here in the Granite State by restricting access to safe and legal abortion care. The New Hampshire House of Representatives is set to consider a package of bills next week that directly threaten reproductive health and access to safe, legal abortion. HOUSE BILLS 1511-FN, 1680-FN, 1707-FN, 1721-FN and 1787-FN are all direct attempts to chip away at reproductive freedom and make it more difficult for women to access safe, legal abortion. We are doing all that we can to make sure these bills are stopped.
On International Women’s Day, we celebrate our commitment and our connections with women across the world. We celebrate all women who have marched, demanded change from their elected officials, told their stories, and organized in their communities. We celebrate the brave women who first professed #MeToo, sharing their stories of sexual violence and sparking a movement that has since spread to China and India. We celebrate providers in Kenya who refuse to sign the global gag rule, and the advocates who have pushed for the liberalization of abortion laws in Chile.
And today we honor the women in the Granite State, who embody the very spirit of leadership, strength, and resistance. These are the women standing up for access to care, the women who share their abortion stories, and the women who call and email their representatives to fight and protect access to safe, legal abortion. No matter what.