The Feminist Majority Foundation joins over three dozen organizations marching on the White House today to demand an end to President Donald Trump’s expanded Global Gag Rule.

“As one of his very first acts in office, President Trump, with a stroke of his pen, issued a presidential memorandum that will cost tens of thousands of women their lives around the world,” said Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority Foundation.

“Trump’s Global Gag Rule goes far beyond the deadly Global Gag Rules of Reagan and both Bush I and II,” Smeal continued. “His expanded Global Gag Rule cheats women from receiving accurate and comprehensive medical information, not only at family planning clinics, but also at all clinics receiving U.S. global health funding, including those combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and/or Zika, among many other public health epidemics. Trump is shamelessly trading the lives of the poorest women of the Global South for political points at home.”

“We are calling on Congress to stop this blatant disregard for women’s lives and pass the Global Health, Empowerment, and Rights (HER) Act, which would permanently revoke the Global Gag Rule,” concluded Smeal.

The HER Act was recently introduced in the House by Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey (D-NY), Ranking Member of the Appropriations Committee and its Foreign Operations Subcommittee. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and its Foreign Operations Subcommittee, has introduced the HER Act in the Senate.

On January 23, 2017, President Trump issued a presidential memorandum reinstating and expanding the Global Gag Rule, a deadly U.S. policy that forbids international nongovernmental organizations receiving U.S. global health funding from providing, counseling, advocating, or referencing abortion, even if these activities are done with non-U.S. funds. Unlike previous iterations of the Global Gag Rule, most recently under President George W. Bush, Trump’s Global Gag Rule applies to all U.S. global health accounts, not just family planning programs. This expanded rule will impact upwards of $9.5 billion in U.S. global heath assistance, and impacts programs providing a range of services, including HIV/AIDS programs and initiatives to combat Zika, malaria, and more. Marie Stopes estimates that the Trump Global Gag will lead to the deaths of more than 21,000 women over the next three years.

The Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF), which was founded in 1987, is a cutting edge organization dedicated to women’s equality, reproductive health, and non-violence. In all spheres, FMF utilizes research and action to empower women economically, socially, and politically.

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