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PHI Statement on Reinstatement of Global Gag Rule

January 23, 2017

PHI strongly opposes the U.S. President’s decision today to reinstate the global gag rule, which blocks aid to foreign organizations who use their own funds to provide information, referrals or services for legal abortion. Cutting off access to abortion puts the lives and livelihoods of women, their families and their communities at risk.

Science, research and evidence show that women and girls who have power and choice in their childbearing, sexual and reproductive health have greater power and choice in their lives. Policies and programs that protect and support the right to access sexual and reproductive health also unlock economic advancement, educational opportunity and better health for women, along with their families and their communities.  Affordable, accessible and safe abortion plays a critical role in supporting women’s and girl’s health and rights, alongside evidence-based comprehensive sexuality education and other tools.

The reinstatement of the gag rule will result in clinic closures around the world, restrict doctors’ ability to provide accurate, scientific information and will have a greatest impact on women who are most vulnerable. Programs currently supported through U.S. funding provide contraceptive services and supplies for 27 million women and couples and help avert six million unintended pregnancies; 11,000 maternal deaths; and 2.3 million abortions.

PHI has worked for a half century around the globe to empower all peoples’ sexual and reproductive health—with a focus on the rights of women, youth and girls—through research, advocacy and leadership programs, including evidence-based comprehensive sexuality education, advocacy, positive youth development, and organizational and professional development. That’s why we stand, along with 137 other organizations from around the globe, to oppose the global gag rule.