Joint Statement on Trump’s Global Gag Rule Re-Enactment

Posted on January, 25 2017 by Action Canada

We, the undersigned organizations, strongly condemn President Trump’s signing of the Global Gag Rule on January 23rd 2017, one of his first acts as President of the United States. During the Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush administrations, the Global Gag Rule prohibited foreign NGOs receiving U.S. assistance related to family planning and reproductive health from using non-U.S. funding to provide abortion services, information, counseling or referrals and from engaging in advocacy for access to safe abortion services. This policy causes real and serious harm to women around the world and is a violation of international development agreements signed by the United States. The policy leads to shortages in resources, the closure of health facilities offering services for women, a chill-effect on all related care (including the provision of family planning, contraceptive counselling, etc.) and the denial of lawful safe abortion services.

President Trump’s version of the Global Gag Rule is more extreme than past administrations and will extend to all global health assistance provided across US departments. The political and financial impacts will be significant and far-reaching. According to PAI, a global reproductive health organization, in monetary terms, this expanded policy will apply to as much as $9.458 billion in global health funding, which includes programming for maternal health, family planning, HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, and more.

As the largest donor in the area of sexual and reproductive health, the United States has played a critical role in supporting countries to fulfill women’s rights through improved access to modern methods of contraception, strengthening of health systems, provision of essential health services to survivors of gender-based violence, among other areas. These are priority areas identified by partner countries as critical to their own development goals and their obligations under international human rights law.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, unanimously adopted by 193 countries, specifically targets universal access to sexual and reproductive health as critical to the reduction of poverty and the fulfillment of human rights. With the stroke of a pen, the United States has put this agenda in jeopardy and women around the world will suffer the indignities and often fatal consequences of this action.

Canada, and its allies, both governments and civil society organizations, must step up their efforts to safeguard and advance sexual and reproductive health and rights by increasing development financing in these areas in a comprehensive manner and by championing these issues within diplomatic efforts.

This U.S. policy position represents a gross violation of women’s rights and runs counter to the global trend of liberalizing abortion laws worldwide, which has led to significant decreases in unsafe abortions.

Canada cannot be complicit in the rolling-back of the hard-fought gains made over 20 years ago on women’s rights, specifically their sexual and reproductive rights. Together, we call on Canada and all sexual and reproductive rights allies to denounce the enactment of this expanded Global Gag Rule and to make concerted efforts to increase support for safe abortion care as part of a comprehensive package of sexual and reproductive health services, and to champion advocacy related to safeguarding and advancing sexual and reproductive rights locally, nationally and globally.

Signatories:

 

  • Abortion Access Now PEI
  • Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC)
  • Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights
  • AIDOS – Italian Association for Women in Development
  • AidWatch Canada
  • Akahata
  • Amnesty International
  • Asia Pacific Alliance for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (APA)
  • Asian-Pacific Resource & Research Centre for Women (ARROW)
  • Association québécoise des organismes de coopération internationale
  • ASTRA Network
  • ASTRA Youth and Federation for Women and Family Planning
  • Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic
  • BC Women’s Abortion Clinic (CARE Program)
  • Canadian Association of Midwives
  • Canadian Council for International Co-Operation
  • Canadian Federation of University Women
  • Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network
  • Canadian Society for International Health
  • Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW- STTP)
  • CARE Canada
  • CECI – Centre for International Studies and Cooperation
  • Clinique des femmes de l’Outaouais
  • Comité québécois femmes et développement
  • Compass Centre for Sexual Wellness
  • Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women
  • CUPE 1979
  • dance4life
  • Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW)
  • Everywoman’s Health Centre, Vancouver
  • Federación de Planificación Familiar Estatal
  • Fédération du Québec pour le planning des naissances
  • Federation of Medical Women of Canada
  • FOKUS – Forum for Women and Development
  • Foundation for Leadership Initiatives (FLI)
  • Global Doctors for Choice
  • Grandmothers Advocacy Network (GRAN)
  • Humanists, Atheists, and Agnostics of Manitoba
  • Interagency Coalition on AIDS and Development (ICAD)
  • Inter Pares
  • International Planned Parenthood Federation – Western Hemisphere Region
  • Institute for International Women’s Rights – Manitoba
  • Ipas
  • Island Sexual Health Society
  • Kenoli Foundation
  • Nobel Women’s Initiative
  • MATCH International Women’s Fund
  • McLeod Group
  • Margaret Pyke Trust, with the Population & Sustainability Network
  • Options for Sexual Health
  • Oxfam Canada
  • Oxfam-Québec
  • PARI O DISPARE, Italy
  • PEI Abortion Rights Network
  • Planned Parenthood Newfoundland and Labrador Sexual Health Centre
  • Planned Parenthood Ottawa
  • Planned Parenthood Regina
  • Planned Parenthood Toronto
  • Reproductive Justice New Brunswick
  • RESULTS Canada
  • Rotary Women’s Association of Vancouver
  • Rutgers
  • Sexual and Reproductive Justice Coalition
  • Sexual Health Centre Saskatoon
  • Sexual Health Nova Scotia and its member-centres
  • Sexuality Education Resource Centre Manitoba
  • Sexuality Policy Watch (Brazil)
  • Shanti Uganda Society
  • SHORE Centre
  • Simavi
  • Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC)
  • Southern African AIDS Trust (SAT)
  • Table de concertation des groupes de femmes de la Gaspésie et des Îles-de-la-Madeleine
  • UNITERRA
  • Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR)
  • WISH Associates
  • WUSC – World University Service of Canada
  • Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights

Individual endorsers:

 

  • Anubha Singh, CREA, India
  • Chris Kaposy, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Bioethics, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • Ton Coenen, Executive Director, Rutgers, Netherlands
  • Nienke Blauw, Sustainablue Consulting, Netherlands
  • Tracy Glynn
  • Lynne Pajot
  • John Bart
  • Dr Ellen Wiebe
  • Laura Lee, MSc PhD (Global Child Health), Laura M. Lee Consulting, Associate, International Institute for Child Rights and Development
  • Sonja Janousek, Sustainable Development Consultant
  • Darlene Juschka
  • Kelly Monaghan
  • Deborah Bourque
  • Val Embree
  • Diane Wood
  • Jen Wrye
  • Milton Kiang, B.A., LL.B.
  • Marion Pollack, Vancouver BC –retired trade unionist
  • Judy Burwell
  • Laura Mikuska
  • April Kilfoyle
  • Carolyn Patrick
  • Rosalind Petchesky, Distinguished Professor Emerita of Political Science Hunter College & the Graduate Center, City University of New York
  • Lauren Perruzza
  • Erin Frotten
  • Cindy McCallum Miller, President, CUPW Castlegar Local
  • Donna Campbell
  • Eva Sharell
  • Valerie Swinton
  • Susan Carter
  • Patrick Powers
  • Rick Dondo
  • Patricia LaRue
  • Cindy McCallum Miller
  • Diane Breton
  • Marjorie Kort
  • B Gail Plecash
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