American Jewish World Service (AJWS) Welcomes Introduction of Legislation That Permanently Repeals the Global Gag Rule

Leading Global Jewish Human Rights Organization Urges Congress to Take Up and Pass Legislation to Promote Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

Rori Kramer, Director of U.S. Advocacy at American Jewish World Service (AJWS), issued the following statement after the introduction of the Global Health, Empowerment, and Rights (HER) Act in the Senate and U.S. House of Representatives:

“Today marks an important milestone in the fight to rebuild U.S. commitments to sexual and reproductive health and rights. In addition to President Biden’s rescission of the global gag rule, we welcome the introduction of the Global Health, Empowerment, and Rights (HER) Act by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Representatives Barbara Lee (D-CA), Ami Bera (D-CA), and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), which will permanently repeal the draconian global gag rule – a policy that prohibits any foreign organization receiving U.S. global health funding from providing legal and safe abortions or referrals, and stifles advocacy for abortion law reform.

“Over the last four years, the global gag rule has caused tremendous damage to U.S. global health programs by shuttering clinics, disrupting health care services, and putting the lives of women, girls, LGBTQI+ people, and sex workers at risk. We know that the global gag rule has only further amplified the harms of the COVID-19 pandemic as access to health care services is reduced and inequalities magnified.

“We applaud Senator Shaheen, Representatives Lee, Bera, and Schakowsky for leading the effort to permanently repeal the global gag rule. As a faith-based organization that recognizes the dignity of all people, we support all measures to increase access to sexual and reproductive health and rights, including abortion. We call on all members of Congress to cosponsor this legislation and push for its passage to prevent this policy from taking root again.”

If you are a member of the press and wish to obtain information about our work or speak to a member of our global team on deadline, please contact Madeline Cohen at mcohen@ajws.org during AJWS office hours from 9 am to 5 pm eastern time, Monday through Thursday. If you are on an urgent deadline on a Friday, over a weekend or during evening hours, please write Stuart Schear at sschear@ajws.org.