September 16, 2020 – In the middle of a global pandemic, the Trump administration is trying to make it harder for people to get the sexual and reproductive health care they want and need. This week, the administration announced that it is proposing to expand the dangerous and harmful “global gag rule” even further than it already has.

The global gag rule is a harmful policy that prevents foreign nongovernmental organizations that receive U.S. funds through grants and cooperative agreements from using their own, non-U.S. funds to provide abortion services, information, counseling, referrals or advocacy.

The proposed expansion of the policy would, for the first time, cover all contracts that organizations have with the United States for global health work, not only grant funding. It would double down on the current negative impacts and push sexual and reproductive health care even further out of reach for so many people around the world who want and need it.

Let us make one thing perfectly clear: This administration is fully aware that the global gag rule is coercive and demonstrably hurts women and families worldwide. By choosing to expand the gag rule even further and apply it to contracts and subcontracts of any group that is even partially funded by U.S. global health programs, they are intentionally deciding to deprive people all over the globe of access to abortion—essential, life-saving health care.

Op-ed originally published in Ms. Magazine.

The Guttmacher Institute is a leading research and policy organization committed to advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights in the United States and globally.