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Video Shows How to Help Stop the Global Gag Rule Affecting Abortion Care

If you could help stop a U.S. policy that puts people across the world at risk of STIs, reverses progress made on HIV prevention, makes it harder to get cancer screenings, and silences doctors of patients who need abortion, would you want to? If the answer is yes, we have good news: You can, and there’s a handy new video to show you how.

The video, by director and choreographer Mary John Frank, producers Jess Jacobs and Erica Rose, in partnership with The Center For Health & Gender Equity and PAI in collaboration with organizations like the National Women’s Law Center, outlines how you can call your Representative armed with all the crucial information you need to know to combat the Global Gag Rule.

When President Donald Trump took office in 2017, he, like many Republican Presidents before him, reinstated the Global Gag Rule — a policy that strips U.S. funding from organizations in different countries if they provide, counsel, refer, or lobby for abortion. Unlike previous Presidents, Trump expanded that rule, prompting global health organizations to lose much more money than they would have under past Presidents, and impacting their ability to provide healthcare services well beyond abortion. He also instated a similar rule in the United States, stymieing the ability of doctors here to provide a healthcare service.

According to a survey done by International Women’s Health Coalition of 118 healthcare professionals in Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, and South Africa, not only has access to abortion been reduced in those places as a result of the Global Gage Rule, so have “contraceptive services, antenatal care, HIV testing and treatment, and screening for cervical, breast, and prostate cancer.” The Global Fund For Women reports that as many as 26 million girls, women, LGBTQ people, and gender non-conforming people stand to lose access to contraception care as a result of the U.S. policy.

In the U.S., clinics like Planned Parenthood have stopped receiving federal Title X funding after they withdrew from the program, rather than comply with Trump’s domestic gag rule, a never-before-implemented rule that bans U.S.-based clinics from providing, counseling, referring, or lobbying for abortion if they are Title X Family planning funding recipients.

All this comes at a time when STIs are increasingly common, global maternal mortality rates are still “unacceptably high”, and access to contraception continues to be a challenge for many worldwide.

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