EngenderHealth Statement on the Imposition of the Global Gag Rule 2017
January 23, 2017—New York, NY. EngenderHealth, a leading international women’s health organization, strongly denounces the reinstatement of the Global Gag Rule, also known as the Mexico City Policy, which will deny millions of women and girls their basic rights and freedoms.
“It is a fundamental right for all women and girls to be allowed access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care. The Global Gag Rule effectively strips them of this right to make decisions in their private lives that will empower them to lift themselves out of poverty and enable them to live up to their full potential,” said Ulla Müller, President and CEO of EngenderHealth.
The restoration of the Global Gag Rule will have a devastating impact in many countries around the world. Programs will lose significant funding to ensure that women have access to safe services, and critical aid will be blocked to international organizations that use their own non-U.S. funds to provide information, referrals, or comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services. Maternal and child health programs will suffer, including voluntary HIV testing and referral services, and gender-based violence programs will be limited as well.
With access to contraception severely compromised under the Global Gag Rule, the incidence of unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions, and ultimately maternal deaths will rise. “By reinstating the Mexico City Policy, the only thing that we know for sure is that millions of women will die because they would be deprived of their access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care services. As a consequence, families will be destroyed, as communities and countries will plunge further into poverty and will be stripped of their basic right—to lead a life of dignity,” warned Müller.
EngenderHealth is a leading global women’s health organization committed to the belief that sexual and reproductive health is a human right and that access to quality health services is vital for women and girls to reach their full potential. We create lasting change by training health care professionals and partnering with governments and communities to make high-quality family planning and sexual and reproductive health services available today and for generations to come. Visit www.engenderhealth.org for more information.