The Elders

Press release

The Elders’ statement on US reintroduction of “Global Gag Rule”

The Elders express their concern at the decision by the new US Administration to reintroduce the “Global Gag Rule” which cuts US funding to organisations that help provide abortion services.

“This decision puts the health of women and children at risk." –Gro Harlem Brundtland

Health worker and woman
Health worker providing family planning and health counseling to a woman (Credit: Carol Bales | IntraHealth International)

The Elders today expressed concern at the decision by the new US Administration to reintroduce the so-called “Global Gag Rule” that cuts US funding to organisations that help provide abortion services.

When the rule has been enacted by previous US Presidents over the past three decades, it has jeopardised the health and wellbeing of the world’s most vulnerable people.

Gro Harlem Brundtland, Deputy Chair of The Elders, said:

“This decision puts the health of women and children at risk. We know from past experience that when the Global Gag Rule is enacted, health care clinics are forced to close and services for hard-to-reach populations eliminated. If this happens again, vulnerable people will die unnecessarily.”

Mary Robinson, Elder and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, added:

“The decision to re-impose the Global Gag Rule risks reversing progress on maternal, child and reproductive health in the poorest countries and poorest communities. In September 2015 the United States committed to the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development. I hope the new Administration will continue to support aid that helps cut poverty, promote gender equality and build a more prosperous future for our shared planet.”


For media inquiries, please contact William French, Head of Communications at The Elders (+44 7795 693903) or email: media@theElders.org

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