Lowey Statement on Trump Administration’s Latest Review of the Global Gag Rule’s Impact

August 18, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY17/Rockland-Westchester), Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement in response to the administration’s release of a review of the expanded Global Gag Rule’s impact:

“No matter how much the administration wants to sugarcoat it, the expanded Global Gag Rule is harmful to women and families around the world. The restrictions the President’s policy has imposed upon partners providing lifesaving global health assistance are particularly damaging to people of color and those with the greatest difficulty accessing health care.

“The Global Gag Rule increases unwanted pregnancies and abortions and hurts the very women we are supposed to be helping. That this ill-advised policy has led to any delays or disruptions in service to patients seeking critical care, from HIV/AIDS treatment to voluntary family planning support to tuberculosis interventions, is absolutely appalling. Especially at a time when the world faces an unprecedented pandemic, partners and governments shouldn’t be left scrambling because the United States is playing politics with effective and proven assistance.

“We cannot afford to have bad policy, coupled with this administration’s massive global leadership failures, damage health systems and harm patients who desperately need support. If we’ve learned anything from the current pandemic, it’s that international health responses must be coordinated and interconnected and any disruptions in healthcare pose risks to security and stability and are bad for development and economies around the world. I look forward to a day when reasonable and coherent policies and real American leadership prevail.”

The expanded Global Gag Rule forces all international groups receiving U.S. global health assistance to choose between receiving U.S. funding or providing comprehensive health care services to their patients. Congresswoman Lowey is the sponsor of the Global Health, Empowerment, and Rights (HER) Act, which would permanently repeal the Global Gag Rule.