Global Gag Rule Expansion: What Funders Should Know

Wednesday 17 April 2019
Co-Sponsors: AJWS, FCAA, FRE, Global Fund for Women, GPP and OSF

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On this briefing we will  discuss an important update to the Trump administration’s second expansion of the Global Gag Rule, which we believe has profoundly harmful implications for private funders, bilateral and multilateral funders, and the movements and communities we support.

On Tuesday, March 26th, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held a press conference announcing the US government’s plans to ensure that US tax dollars are not used to fund abortion-related services in other countries. It signals changes to enforcement of the Global Gag Rule that will further harm organizations and movements we support. Furthermore, the implications of this change are that organizations, donor governments, and foundations will now find themselves bound by a US government policy, even if they do not accept any US government funding. Any money that flows through a gagged organization, regardless of the funding source and where the funding is headed, will now be gagged.

Much clarification is still needed, but there are some immediate actions we believe funders could pursue.

Attached here is an overview of the policy change and some actions for discussion on our call.

The webinar will include Global Gag Rule experts from PAI, the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE), and amfAR, who will share the latest information in DC about:

  • Secretary Pompeo’s announcement;
  • The ways this will increase the number and types of organizations bound by the policy;
  • What kinds of changes they have also signaled about investigations and enforcement of the Global Gag Rule; and,
  • Why foundations should be concerned about the impact on their own funding, and what they can do about it.

Expert guests will also provide a brief overview of the Global Gag Rule and its early impacts, as well as evidence of the harm it is causing to various kinds of health services and programming, including HIV, and the significant disruptions it is causing to advocacy efforts ranging from LGBTI rights to gender-based violence prevention. Finally, the webinar will include proposals for joint and individual funder actions, and leave space for Q&A.

Participation is limited to representatives of funding organizations and invited speakers only.