Lowey on Trump Reinstatement of Global Gag Rule: “We can’t put ‘America First’ by Marginalizing Women around the World”

January 23, 2017
Press Release


Bicameral HER Act would Permanently Repeal Ill-Conceived Gag Rule

Washington, DC – House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-Westchester/Rockland) today announced legislation to permanently repeal the ill-conceived, anti-woman Global Gag Rule in response to President Donald Trump’s executive order reinstating the policy.

“We can’t put ‘America First’ by marginalizing women around the world,” said Lowey. “Reinstatement of the dangerous and arbitrary Global Gag Rule is an especially outrageous assault on women. It has not decreased the rate of abortions and unwanted pregnancies under previous Republican Administrations.  In fact, its severe limits on access to family planning services will dramatically erode progress on maternal and child health, and the policy will weaken the effectiveness of our foreign assistance by making ineligible some of the most capable and effective international partners.”

Lowey believes that instead of making it more difficult for women to access quality care, U.S. foreign assistance initiatives should support programs that help women and their partners ensure their health and the health of their families.

That is why she will introduce legislation to permanently repeal the ill-conceived Global Gag Rule and counteract President Trump’s Executive Order.  The Global Health, Empowerment, and Rights (HER) Act, which will be introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator Jeanne Shaheen, would:

  • Ensure that eligible foreign NGOs can continue to operate U.S.-supported health programs abroad, particularly those that provide legal health services to women -- including counseling, referral, and legal abortion services -- with their own, non-U.S. funds.
  • Guarantee that foreign NGOs will not be forced to sacrifice their right to free speech in order to participate in U.S.-supported programs abroad.
  • Help expand access to health programs for women around the world to improve health and development outcomes for entire families, communities, and developing countries. 

“Women around the world deserve the ability to make healthy choices for themselves and their families,” said Lowey. “Congress should put aside politics and support full and consistent access to family planning and reproductive health services by supporting the Global HER Act.”

# # #