MSH Statement on the Imposition of the Global Gag Rule

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Management Sciences for Health (MSH) believes that access to affordable, high-quality, comprehensive reproductive health services is essential to a woman’s realization of her fundamental right to health, and to building strong health systems. As an organization committed to saving lives and improving the health of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people, MSH is deeply concerned about the impact of the re-instatement and expansion of the Mexico City Policy by President Trump, also known as the Global Gag Rule. This policy—more wide-reaching than in previous iterations—will harm the well-being and resiliency of families, communities, nations and economies.

When it was previously in force, the Mexico City Policy prohibited foreign non-governmental organizations from receiving U.S. family planning funding if they provided, gave counseling on, advocated for, or referred clients for abortion services. President Trump’s version of the policy now applies to organizations that receive any global health money, potentially including maternal health programs, efforts to fight Zika, and the expansive PEPFAR program to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS.

For 50 years, the U.S. has invested in programs to prevent malaria, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases in addition to family planning and reproductive health services. The evidence is clear: this work has helped reduce maternal deaths, increase access to contraceptives, save the lives of millions of children under the age of five, and reap the savings in health care costs from each dollar invested in family planning.

MSH knows, from more than 45 years of work in family planning and reproductive health, that access to a wide range of family planning commodities and services saves lives. Reinstating the Global Gag Rule cripples health systems that use U.S. funds for comprehensive reproductive health care, and will shut down essential programs that increase access to services for HIV/AIDS and gender-based violence. The Global Gag Rule violates the right of all women to access comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care and to make informed choices about their health.

MSH stands with more than 130 partners (PDF) in reaffirming our commitment to women by calling on all governments and institutions across the globe to increase political support and funding for reproductive health services and supplies.

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