The Global Gag Rule and Women's Reproductive Health: rhetoric versus reality

Hosted by the LSE Global Health Initiative

Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building


Professor Yana van der Meulen Rodgers

Professor Yana van der Meulen Rodgers


Professor Naila Kabeer

Professor Naila Kabeer

Yana van der Meulen Rodgers, examines the effectiveness of the U.S. "global gag rule" which cuts off American aid to health care providers that provide or discuss abortion.

In 2017, three days after entering office, President Donald Trump not only reinstated the Global Gag Rule, he also expanded the order extensively. Trump halted US funding to family planning organisations providing abortion-related activities, but also extended  this rule to any foreign nongovernmental organisation that receives funding from US Aid that does not certify that they do not use their own funding to provide abortions services.

The estimated funding gap of $8.8 billion in US global health assistance will be hard to fill through philanthropy with consequences for the support of family planning, maternal and child health as well as the provision of health services not directly related to abortion such as HIV and Malaria treatment. On top of this, there is strong evidence to suggest that the Global Gag Rule leads to more rather than fewer abortions, projected to lead to 2.5 million unintended pregnancies and 870,000 unsafe abortions.

Yana van der Meulen Rodgers (@YanaRodger) is a Professor at Rutgers University and Director of the Center for Women and Work.

Naila Kabeer is Professor of Gender and Development at the Department of Gender Studies and Department of International Development. 

LSE’s Global Health Initiative is an interdepartmental research platform that applies LSE’s tradition of rigorous social science research to emerging global health challenges.

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