January 31, 2022

Warren, Colleagues Urge Senate and House Leadership to Permanently Repeal Harmful Global Gag Rule

Warren: “The Global Gag Rule is a dangerous, discriminatory, and partisan policy that puts the health and wellbeing of millions of vulnerable people around the world at risk.”

Text of Letter (PDF)

Washington, D.C. – Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) joined Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and 44 senators in a letter to Senate and House leadership, calling for a permanent repeal of the Global Gag Rule to be included in the fiscal year (FY) 2022 State, Foreign Operations and Related Agencies government funding legislation. The Global Gag Rule prohibits foreign non-governmental organizations from using any funding (including from non-U.S. sources) to perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning as a condition for receiving critical U.S. global family planning funding. The letter coincides with the one-year anniversary of President Biden’s executive order rescinding the dangerous policy that was reinstated and expanded by President Trump.

“The Global Gag Rule is a dangerous, discriminatory, and partisan policy that puts the health and wellbeing of millions of vulnerable people around the world at risk. We shouldn’t force organizations to provide less comprehensive reproductive health services in order to receive health aid from the United States,” said Senator Warren. “I was glad that President Biden rescinded the policy one year ago, but we have to permanently end this policy in order to protect reproductive health care for good.”

Significant investments from the United States have helped strengthen global health, family planning, and reproductive health services around the world. In fiscal year 2021, congressional funding for reproductive programs helped provide 27.2 million women with contraceptive services, prevented 12 million unintended pregnancies, and prevented 19,000 maternal deaths.  

However, the Global Gag Rule, also known as the Mexico City Policy, often reverses the benefits of these investments. The policy, which has consistently been rescinded and reinstated along party lines, forces clinics to choose between providing limited reproductive health services while accepting U.S. foreign aid, or providing inclusive family planning and reproductive health care with a limited budget. The impact of the Global Gag Rule is far-reaching, and the Trump administration’s actions to reinstate and expand the policy severely impacted the ability of global health organizations to provide crucial care and services to some of the most vulnerable communities around the world.  

Senator Warren is a champion for reproductive rights and has fought to ensure access to comprehensive family and reproductive health services throughout her time in Congress. She has consistently opposed the Global Gag Rule and cosponsored the Global HER Act. And as the GOP and extremist Supreme Court threaten Roe v. Wade and the ability of individuals to make their own health care decisions, Senator Warren has repeatedly called for the right to an abortion to be written into law. When the Trump administration tried to implement a gag rule on the Title X Federal Family Planning Program in 2018, Senator Warren led a bicameral letter with more than 200 colleagues to oppose the implementation of a domestic gag rule. Senator Warren and more than 150 bicameral colleagues also called on the Department of Health and Human Services under President Biden to rescind the domestic gag rule, which led Secretary Becerra to repeal the rule in October 2021.