Washington, DC—Today, Representative Gregory W. Meeks, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement today regarding President Biden’s reversal of the Global Gag Rule (GGR). President Trump’s reinstatement and unprecedented expansions of the GGR denied foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from qualifying for U.S. global health funds if they provide abortions or information about abortions, effectively forcing many NGOs to either cut critical health services in order to continue their operations, or turn down U.S. funding.

"I applaud President Biden’s immediate action to rescind the Global Gag Rule, allowing NGOs around the world to once again provide full access to women's health services without fear of losing crucial U.S. foreign assistance.

"In forcing health providers to choose between providing full family planning services and U.S. aid, the GGR has cut foreign assistance from reaching some of the most effective providers, and resulted in reduced access to a wide range of reproductive and sexual health services. Reduced access to abortion services, contraceptives, counseling, and prenatal care is detrimental to women's health, particularly in developing countries where U.S. assistance is vital and full reproductive health services are key to their development. I’m also happy to see President Biden’s restoration of funding to UNFPA, which is a critical partner in supporting women’s health in some of the hardest to reach places around the world, as well as his rejection of the Geneva Consensus Declaration, an anti-abortion statement which aligned the United States with other countries who oppose comprehensive health care access.

"We have lost both time and ground these last four years due to the Trump Administration’s harmful policies, but I am hopeful that President Biden’s decision to repeal it will restore access to full women’s health services, lead to better health outcomes, and more equitable development around the world."

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