Statement on the Reintroduction of the Global Health, Empowerment, and Rights Act in Congress

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

We welcome the reintroduction of the Global Health, Empowerment, and Rights Act (Global HER Act) in both the U.S. House and Senate this week. This measure would permanently repeal the global gag rule, an egregious policy that prohibits foreign organizations from receiving U.S. global health assistance if they provide abortion-related services — even if abortion is legal in their country and even if the services are funded by other entities.  

Now it is time for Congress to pass the Global HER Act. 

Though President Biden rescinded the global gag rule shortly after taking office, its cruel intentions continue to reverberate and endanger the health of millions worldwide. The heinous policy has sown confusion among health professionals and grassroots organizations working to provide comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care and information. It has also deepened health care inequities, throwing up yet another barrier for marginalized communities already struggling to access affordable services. Without decisive action now, it is almost guaranteed that the global gag rule will be reinstated by future, conservative U.S. administrations. Passing the Global HER Act would end this uncertainty once and for all.  

The 118th Congress brings a fresh opportunity to protect health and reproductive rights for all. We must do all we can to improve global health outcomes, especially for marginalized groups, such as women and girls, LGBTQI people, and sex workers.  

We applaud Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Reps. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Ami Bera M.D. (D-CA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) for being champions of reproductive rights and sponsoring this bill. We urge Congress to follow their lead, do the right thing and pass the Global HER Act.  

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