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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

House Committee Votes to Reinstate Global Gag Rule

The House Foreign Affairs Committee on July 21 voted (25-17) to reinstate the Global Gag Rule (GGR) in the fiscal year 2012 foreign aid bill.

The controversial policy prohibits international family planning organizations receiving U.S. aid from providing information, counseling, or referrals related to abortion—even if using their own non-U.S. funding and even if the practices are legal in their own countries. During the July 20-21 markup, the committee defeated an amendment by Ranking Member Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) to remove the Global Gag Rule from the bill.

If reinstated as a matter of law, the GGR would have terrible consequences for women and their families. While it was in effect between 2001 and 2009, the policy forced clinics to cut back on a range of critical health services that have nothing to do with abortion, such as family planning, obstetric care, HIV testing, and malaria treatment.
Watch our 90-second video to learn how the GGR negatively impacts the health and lives of women and children.

The GGR was first adopted in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan but has since been removed and reinstated several times. President Obama rescinded the policy when he took office in January 2009.

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