March 28, 2023

Reps. Lee, Bera, Schakowsky Call for Repeal of Global Gag Rule with Introduction of Global HER Act

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-12), Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, joined Representatives Ami Bera (CA-6) and Jan Schakowsky (IL-9) in reintroducing the Global Health, Empowerment, and Rights (Global HER) Act. 

The global gag rule (also known as the “Mexico City Policy”) was reinstated and expanded under the previous administration, requiring non-U.S. organizations receiving U.S. global health funding to choose between receiving U.S. resources or providing comprehensive health care to their patients.

While President Biden rescinded the global gag rule during his first week in office, only Congress can make the repeal permanent. 

“Thanks to the quick actions of the Biden administration, the Global Gag Rule is not currently in place. But our global health infrastructure is not truly safe from this harmful policy until it is permanently repealed by Congress,” said Congresswoman Lee. “Evidence shows that the global gag rule harms health systems by undermining the most effective and experienced providers and rendering their services unattainable. But this bill is about more than health: it is a guarantee that American foreign assistance dollars will never be weaponized as a tool of oppression. It is about ensuring women in communities around the world can write their own stories and determine their own futures. For every woman who lost her community health provider and her access to routine medical care, including contraception, we introduce this bill for her.”

“The global gag rule jeopardizes critical health care access for people around the world, especially those already facing systemic barriers to care including women, girls, and young people. This policy hinders our ability to fight against deadly infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV/AIDS, and puts life-saving nutrition programs at risk,” said Congressman Ami Bera, M.D. “While I’m grateful that President Biden rescinded the global gag rule, Congress needs to pass the Global HER Act to ensure that no future Administration can implement this harmful policy ever again.” 

“It is past time to permanently repeal the deadly, shameful Global Gag Rule. Although President Biden has rescinded this harmful policy, it is only a short-term solution. Congress must repeal it permanently,” said Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky. “I am proud to be a co-lead of the Global HER Act, which will do just that. The Global Gag Rule blocks foreign non-governmental organizations from using their own money to provide abortion services or counseling. It is ridiculous that the United States would impose such an arbitrary, harmful restriction on other countries. As the largest government funder of global health, we have a vital role to play in improving public health around the world. The time to act is now.”

This bill would permanently:

  • Ensure that eligible foreign NGOs operating U.S.-supported health programs abroad can use their own, non-U.S. funds to provide legal health services;
  • Guarantee that foreign NGOs will not be forced to sacrifice their right to free speech to participate in U.S.-supported programs abroad; and
  • Help expand access to health programs around the world so that we continue to make progress on raising health and development outcomes for entire families, communities, and developing countries.  

Evidence shows that the global gag rule can reduce access to contraception in low- and middle-income countries, leading to higher rates of unintended pregnancies, maternal illness and mortality, and unsafe abortions. The global gag rule harms health systems by undermining the most effective and experienced health care providers and making their services unattainable. Recent polling also shows that 70% of Americans support ending the global gag rule.

118th Cosponsors: Adams, Allred, Auchincloss, Balint, Barragán, Beatty, Bera, Beyer, Blumenauer, Bonamici, Bowman, Brown, Brownley, Budzinski, Bush, Caraveo, Carbajal, Carson, Carter, Cartwright, Case, Casten, Castor, Castro, Cherfilus-McCormick, Chu, Cicilline, Clarke, Cleaver, Cohen, Connolly, Costa, Craig, Crockett, Crow, Davids, Davis, Dean, DeGette, DeLauro, DelBene, Deluzio, DeSaulnier, Dingell, Doggett, Escobar, Espaillat, Evans, Fletcher, Frankel, Frost, Garamendi, Garcia (IL), Garcia (TX), Gomez, Gottheimer, Higgins, Himes, Houlahan, Hoyle, Huffman, Ivey, Jackson, Jackson Lee, Jacobs, Jayapal, Johnson, Kamlager-Dove, Keating, Kelly, Khanna, Kildee, Kilmer, Kim, Krishnamoorthi, Kuster, Larsen, Larson, Lee, Leger Fernandez, Levin, Lieu, Lofgren, Matsui, McBath, McClellan, McCollum, McGarvey, McGovern, Meeks, Meng, Mfume, Moore, Morelle, Mullin, Nadler, Napolitano, Neal, Neguse, Nickel, Norcross, Norton, Omar, Pallone, Panetta, Payne, Jr., Peters, Pettersen, Pingree, Plaskett, Pocan, Porter, Pressley, Quigley, Raskin, Ray, Ross, Ruppersberger, Ryan, Salinas, Sarbanes, Scanlon, Schakowsky, Schiff, Schneider, Scott, Sherman, Sherrill, Slotkin, Smith, Sorensen, Soto, Stansbury, Stanton, Stevens, Strickland, Swalwell, Sykes, Takano, Titus, Tlaib, Tokuda, Tonko, Torres, Trahan, Trone, Underwood, Vargas, Veasey, Velázquez, Wasserman Schultz, Watson Coleman, Wexton, Wild, Williams, Wilson, Grijalva, Ruiz

Endorsing Groups: 154 organizations support the Global HER Act. For the full list, please see here. Advocates for Youth, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Jewish World Service, American Medical Student Association (AMSA), Amnesty International USA, AVAC, Breakthrough, CARE USA, Catholics for Choice, Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE), Center For Inquiry, Center for Reproductive Rights, Council for Global Equality, Feminist Majority, Foreign Policy for America, Global Justice Institute, Metropolitan Community Churches, Global Network of Black People working in HIV, Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation, Guttmacher Institute, Heartland Alliance International, Human Rights Campaign, International Center for Research on Women, International Youth Alliance for Family Planning, IntraHealth International, Ipas, John Snow, Inc. (JSI), Marie Stopes international, Medical Students for Choice, MPact Global Action for Gay Men's Health & Rights, NARAL Pro-Choice America, National Center for Transgender Equality, National Council of Jewish Women, National Institute for Reproductive Health, National Organization for Women, National Women's Health Network, PAI, Physicians for Reproductive Health, Plan International USA, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Population Connection Action Fund, Population Institute, Promundo-US, Religious Institute, SIA Legal Team, SisterLove, Inc., Smash Strategies, Synergia - Initiatives for Human Rights, The Coalition for Children Affected by AIDS, The United Methodist Church - General Board of Church and Society, URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity, Voices for Progress, Win Without War, Women Graduates-USA, Women's Environment and Development Organization, Woodhull Freedom Foundation, Young Professionals Chronic Disease Network.


Congresswoman Lee is a member of the House Appropriations Committee and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations. She serves as Co-Chair of the Steering & Policy Committee, former Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Chair Emeritus of the Progressive Caucus, Co-Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Health Task Force, and Co-Chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus. She also serves as Chair of the Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity. As a member of the Steering and Policy Committee, she is the highest ranking Black woman appointed to House Leadership.