U.S. Congress Should Pass Global HER Act, End Mexico City Policy

NBC News: Trump pushes an anti-abortion agenda abroad while paying lip service to women’s empowerment
Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.)

“…The need to pass this legislation has never been as clear or urgent. We cannot defend free speech, improve health and sustainable development outcomes for developing countries, and ensure the security and stability of vulnerable populations by silencing medical professionals and subverting the private and sensitive physician-patient relationship. Forcing doctors to essentially commit malpractice is weakening the effectiveness of our foreign assistance by severing long-standing relationships and collaborations. By passing the [Global Health, Empowerment and Rights Act (Global HER Act)], Congress can ensure that the health of vulnerable women and families around the world no longer rests on the president’s machinations but in the hands of our most capable and effective international partners. And then those women can take advantage of the economic empowerment programs the president seems so keen to promote” (2/7).

Rewire.News: The Global Gag Rule Has Put Women in Danger for Decades. Here’s How We Can Stop It.
Vanessa Rios, program officer for learning, monitoring, and evaluation at the International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC), and Nina Besser Doorley, senior program officer for U.S. foreign policy at IWHC

“…The Global Health, Empowerment, and Rights Act (Global HER Act) provides an opportunity to end, once and for all, the … global gag rule [also known as the Mexico City policy]. … The act … would remove — in perpetuity — the U.S. president’s power to restrict health care for millions of women with merely a signature. … Women, no matter where they live, have the right to make their own health care decisions. … [T]he U.S. Congress has an opportunity to pass legislation that prioritizes reproductive health, upholds a patient’s right to informed decision making, and restores U.S. global health leadership. The … reintroduction of the Global HER Act gives Congress an opportunity to take definitive action to end a devastating policy, and positively impact the lives of women and girls around the world” (2/7).

Rewire.News: Dr. Leana Wen: It’s Time to End the Global Gag Rule
Leana Wen, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund

“…The global gag rule is playing politics with women’s lives around the world … The global gag rule doesn’t just drastically limit access to safe and legal abortion, it jeopardizes access to all health care offered by the same providers, who are often the most qualified experts in their respective region. The policy hits hardest those populations that already face barriers to care — including people of color, families with low incomes, youth, and the LGBTQ community. It places the trust of the physician-patient relationship in jeopardy, gags advocates, violates free speech, and bucks global trends recognizing that reproductive health care is health care and health care is a human right. … It is time for Congress to pass the Global HER Act and end the global gag rule once and for all” (2/7).

The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.

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