Senators Introduce Permanent Ban To Global Gag Rule

Last night, Sens. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), and 15 other senators reintroduced legislation that would permanently repeal the Global Gag Rule — which prohibits foreign organizations receiving U.S. development assistance from using their own funds to perform abortions or provide women with information and referrals for the procedure. The gag rule was initially instituted by President Ronald Reagan in Mexico City in 1984, lifted by President Bill Clinton on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade in 1993, reinstated by President George W. Bush on his first working day in office in 2001, and then lifted again by President Barack Obama. The Republican House is now seeking to bring back the measure. Lautenberg’s and Boxer’s Global Democracy Promotion Act (GDPA) states, “foreign nongovernmental organizations shall not be ineligible for such assistance solely on the basis of health or medical services, including counseling and referral services, provided by such organizations with non-United States Government funds if such services do not violate the laws of the country.”