Global Health Experts Applaud Re-Introduction of the Global HER Act

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, February 01, 2021

CONTACT: Madison Donzis | [email protected]

Global Health Experts Applaud Re-Introduction of the Global HER Act

Last week, Senator Jeanne Shaheen, along with Reps. Barbara Lee, Ami Bera and Jan Schakowsky re-introduced the Global Health, Empowerment and Rights (HER) Act in Congress, necessary legislation that would permanently end the Global Gag Rule—a U.S. foreign aid policy that blocks U.S. global health assistance to foreign organizations that perform abortions or offer counseling on or information about the procedure. The bill’s re-introduction came almost immediately after President Biden signed a Presidential Memorandum that will put Congress on track to repeal the Global Gag Rule.

Serra Sippel, President of CHANGE (the Center for Health and Gender Equity) issued the following in response:

“CHANGE applauds Senator Shaheen, Reps. Barbara Lee, Ami Bera, Jan Schakowsky, and all their colleagues in Congress for re-introducing the Global Health, Empowerment and Rights (HER) Act and putting Congress back on track to repeal the Global Gag Rule once and for all.

“Passing the Global HER Act would end the devastating consequences of the Global Gag Rule seen around the world, including unintended pregnancies and increased abortions, hampered efforts to provide HIV and AIDS treatment, cervical cancer screenings, and other essential health care services.

“There is still so much more to be done to achieve true gender justice and equality for all, and now is not the time for the United States to stop short. We look now to the Biden-Harris administration and to Congress to turn its support for sexual and reproductive health and rights into passage of the Global HER Act.

Background:

The Global HER Act was originally introduced in Congress one day after President Trump reinstated and expanded the Global Gag Rule in January 2017 by Sen. Shaheen, Rep. Lowey, and47 senators and 163 representatives as original cosponsors.

The legislation would permanently end the Global Gag Rule. The Global HER Act would remove eligibility restrictions on recipients of U.S. foreign assistance and guarantee that U.S. foreign assistance prioritizes women’s health.

The Global HER Act would also:

  • Ensure that eligible foreign NGOs operating U.S.-supported health programs abroad can use their own, non-U.S. funds to provide legal health services to women.
  • Guarantee that foreign NGOs will not be forced to sacrifice their right to free speech to participate in U.S.-supported global health programs abroad.
  • Help expand access to health programs around the world to continue to make progress on raising health and development outcomes for entire families, communities, and the Global South.

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