Making Change Through Research and Policy Analysis: Exposing the Global Gag Rule

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CHANGE’s groundbreaking report, "Prescribing Chaos in Global Health," documents the harms of the Global Gag Rule from 1984 to 2018, with new data exposing the harmful impacts of the Trump administration’s expanded Global Gag Rule in Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

What is the Global Gag Rule?

The Global Gag Rule prohibits foreign nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that receive certain categories of U.S. foreign assistance from using their own, non-U.S. funds to provide abortion services, counseling, or referrals; or to advocate for the liberalization of abortion laws, except in cases of rape, incest, or life endangerment of the pregnant woman.

“Prescribing Chaos in Global Health”

This report maps the development and implementation of the Global Gag Rule from 1984 to the present and outlines the policy’s impact on both organizations and programs that receive U.S. foreign assistance and those that do not. The report also traces the politics that drive the policy, the human rights implications of the policy, and the policy's impact to overall health systems.

It provides evidence that:

  • The Global Gag Rule under former President George W. Bush had consequences outside family planning programs, adversely impacting a wider range of health services provided by foreign NGOs.

  • The Trump administration’s expanded Global Gag Rule has had immediate, direct, and potentially devastating consequences for health services and the health of women and children globally.

  • Today’s Global Gag Rule is preventing countries from managing critical health issues, including HIV, prenatal and maternal care, and sexual and reproductive health and hygiene.

The report concludes with recommendations for action by organizations, funders, researchers, and policymakers, including a decisive appeal to abolish the Global Gag Rule forever because of its destructive impact on health and human rights around the world.

“Prescribing Chaos” in the Media

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