A bipartisan group from both the House and the Senate is introducing legislation that would repeal the global gag rule that restricts international family planning groups seeking aid from discussing the full range of women’s reproductive health care.
The gag rule is a result of the “Mexico City” policy, which forbids United States aid to international family planning groups who “perform or promote” abortion with their own funds.
“The global gag rule forces organizations to sacrifice their right to free speech in order to receive family planning assistance,” said Nita Lowey (D-NY) who sponsored the Global Democracy Promotion Act in the House.
Some 600,000 women die every year from pregnancy-related causes, 100,000 of which from botched illegal abortions. Sponsors of the bill state that 150 million married women in developing countries cannot access contraceptives.