Canada and the Global Gag Rule

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Activists demonstrate in front of the Peruvian Supreme Court, laying flowers to mourn the loss of reproductive rights during the Fujimori dictatorship and demand reparations.
 Activists demonstrate in front of the Peruvian Supreme Court, laying flowers to mourn the loss of reproductive rights during the Fujimori dictatorship and demand reparations.Credit: DEMUS

Inter Pares is deeply concerned about the impact of the Global Gag Rule on the enabling environment for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) around the world. For this reason, we joined dozens of other Canadian organizations in a joint public statement on it.

“We, the undersigned organizations, strongly condemn President Trump’s signing of the Global Gag Rule on January 23rd 2017, one of his first acts as President of the United States. During the Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush administrations, the Global Gag Rule prohibited foreign NGOs receiving U.S. assistance related to family planning and reproductive health from using non-U.S. funding to provide abortion services, information, counseling or referrals and from engaging in advocacy for access to safe abortion services. This policy causes real and serious harm to women around the world and is a violation of international development agreements signed by the United States. The policy leads to shortages in resources, the closure of health facilities offering services for women, a chill-effect on all related care (including the provision of family planning, contraceptive counselling, etc.) and the denial of lawful safe abortion services.”

Furthermore, we feel it is the moment for the Canadian government to make a significant contribution towards SRHR initiatives in the global South. We applaud Minister Bibeau’s analysis that “The empowerment of women and girls everywhere in the world begins with their right to be in control of their bodies.” Although we recognize the recent announcements to support SRHR, now is the time for Canada to make a signature investment in SRHR as described The Future Planning Initiative. We are proud that the joint statement calls for such leadership.

It’s 2017. Canada needs to do more for women and girls around the world.

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