• Press Release

Biden Rescinding the Global Gag Rule Welcome First Step, Congress Must Now Repeal It

January 26, 2021

(@ Elijah Nouvelage via Getty Images)
Ahead of executive actions rescinding the Global Gag Rule by United States President Joe Biden, Tarah Demant, Director of the Gender, Sexuality, and Identity Program said:

“The rescinding of the Global Gag Rule is a victory for human rights and for the health and lives of every woman, girl, or person who can become pregnant.

“This disastrous policy undermines the human rights to health, equality, information, privacy, and expression. It’s ineffective and it is deadly: the Global Gag Rule decreases the availability of contraceptives, increases the rates of maternal death, increases the rate of closed health clinics and places poor and rural women particularly at risk. It unnecessarily endangers health, all the while trampling on people’s ability to protect their rights. Abortion is a human right. Full stop. This is about people living full lives that are their own.

“Rescinding the Global Gag Rule is just the first step: Congress must now permanently repeal the Global Gag Rule so that this destructive policy can’t be reinstated by the next president.”

Background and context

Amnesty International recognizes abortion as the right of anyone who can become pregnant. Amnesty International’s position is based on the recognition that decisions around pregnancy and abortion directly impact the full spectrum of human rights of pregnant individuals.

The Global Gag Rule prohibits U.S. international aid to groups that so much as educate their communities on safe abortion. Even if an organization is using non-U.S. funding for such activities, they will lose their U.S. funding if they offer counseling, advocate for legal reform, provide abortions, or even provide referrals at any time. Foreign NGOs and clinics, many of whom depend on U.S. funding to deliver life-saving healthcare, must choose between two impossible choices: 1) take the funding they depend on but deny the services their communities need and have a right to, or 2) refuse U.S. funding and struggle to keep clinics open, offer services, and advocate for laws that reduce unsafe abortions. The Global Gag Rule means that women and girls who depend on U.S.-funded health facilities may not even hear about the options that may save their lives.


Failures to guarantee safe access to abortion in Europe endangers health of women, girls amid COVID-19 (April 8, 2020)

COVID-19 Pandemic Doesn’t Give States The Right to Limit Abortion Access (March 25, 2020)

Deadly Abortion Bans Endanger Pregnant People’s Lives (May 15, 2019)

One Year After Trump Reinstated it, Global Gag Rule Must Go (January 22, 2018)

Media contact: Mariya Parodi, [email protected]