January 26, 2017

Cortez Masto Co-Sponsors Global HER Act, Bipartisan Legislation to Permanently Repeal the Global Gag Rule

Forty-seven Democrat and Republican Senators introduced legislation supporting women’s reproductive rights and international family planning programs following President Trump’s executive order reinstating ‘global gag rule’

Washington, D.C. — Following President Trump’s issuance of an executive order to reinstate the Global Gag Rule, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) joined a bipartisan coalition of 47 Senators to introduce the Global Health, Empowerment, and Rights (HER) Act, which would permanently repeal the policy that puts women’s health across the globe at risk. The Global Gag Rule, also known as the Mexico City Policy, stops all federal funds for foreign non-governmental organizations that provide abortion services or provide information about abortion as part of comprehensive family planning services. The Global Gag Rule forces clinics to choose between receiving essential U.S. foreign aid or offering inclusive family planning and reproductive healthcare services. President Trump’s executive order expanded the policy from the Bush Administration to apply to every program that falls under global health assistance at the Department of State, USAID and the Department of Health and Human Services.

“Republicans’ assault on women’s rights and access to safe, affordable healthcare is nothing new, and the fact that one of President Trump’s first orders as president is to risk women’s health and safety further reinforces the need to do everything possible to combat his extremist, anti-women agenda,” said Cortez Masto. “I’m proud to join my colleagues on both sides of the aisle as a co-sponsor of this critical legislation that would permanently repeal the Global Gag Rule. Women’s health clinics across the globe rely on U.S. foreign aid to provide women critical health care services like HIV treatment, Zika prevention, and contraceptive services. It is unacceptable that our support for clinics offering commonsense, life-saving programs is contingent on their elimination of basic health services. The Global HER Act ensures this global gag order is eliminated once and for all.”

The Global Health, Empowerment, and Rights (HER) Act, led by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), would:

  • Ensure that eligible foreign NGOs can continue to operate U.S.-supported health programs abroad, particularly those that provide legal health services to women -- including counseling, referral, and legal abortion services -- with their own, non-U.S. funds;
  • Guarantee that foreign NGOs will not be forced to sacrifice their right to free speech in order to participate in U.S.-supported programs abroad;
  • Help expand access to health programs for women around the world to improve health and development outcomes for entire families, communities, and developing countries.