Newsroom: Press Releases
Senate Committee Approves Lautenberg Amendment Overturning "Global Gag Rule"
Lautenberg Press Office, 202-224-3224
Wednesday, September 21,
WASHINGTON, DC - The Senate Appropriations Committee today passed an amendment authored by Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) to the FY 2012 State and Foreign Operations funding measure that would permanently overturn the “Global Gag Rule” and provide access to family planning services for women around the world.
“Today we have taken an important step toward permanently ending the global gag rule and protecting access to family planning services for women around the world," said Sen. Lautenberg, a member of the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee. "The United States is an international leader for women's rights, and we must rule out any possibility that this dangerous and harmful policy could return."
The “Global Gag Rule” prohibited the United States from providing foreign aid for contraception and family planning services to any organization that used its own funding to perform or promote legal abortion. Upon taking office, President Obama reversed the rule by executive order, but the policy could be reinstated again by a future administration. The Lautenberg amendment codifies the elimination of this policy in law and makes it permanent.
Lautenberg’s amendment is co-sponsored by Senators Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Jon Tester (D-MT) and Susan Collins (R-ME), also members of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Earlier today, Sen. Lautenberg joined Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) in introducing the "Global Democracy Promotion Act." Similar to Lautenberg's amendment approved in Committee, the bill would permanently codify in law the repeal of the “Global Gag Rule.” This would ensure that foreign nongovernmental organizations that use their own funds to provide comprehensive reproductive health information and services that are legal in the countries in which they operate – and legal in the United States -- remain eligible to receive assistance from the United States.
“I am pleased that this important language was approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee today,” Senator Boxer said. “If the Global Gag Rule were applied in the United States, it would violate the First Amendment because it restricts what organizations can do or say with their own funds. Ending this undemocratic policy is long overdue.”
Return to Press Releases