FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Meredith Jacobs, VP Communications
direct: 202.464.4803// cell: 301.529.8591
Washington, D.C. – Following the administration’s directive to US agencies significantly expanding the Global Gag Rule on foreign assistance, Jewish Women International (JWI) issues the following statement:
The extension of the Global Gag Rule to deny U.S. aid to any foreign organization providing abortion counseling, services or referrals (even with its narrowly defined exemptions for rape, incest and maternal health), will further diminish women’s access to critical services, especially in areas of the world where it is most desperately needed.
The Global Gag Rule already prohibits U.S. foreign aid from being used in clinics that provide abortion care and services. Now as long as those services are offered, regardless of the source of the funding, the U.S. will deny all aid. These healthcare centers typically provide a broad array of services for women and their families and now patients seeking services such as pediatric care, treatment for HIV/AIDS, reproductive healthcare, counseling for sexual assault, and much more will find closed clinics and limited options.
The U.S. has been a leader in promoting health care for women and families. Access to health care is inextricably linked to access to education and economic opportunity. The extension of the Global Gag Rule is a giant step backward.
Jewish Women International (JWI) is the leading Jewish organization working to end violence against women and girls domestically and internationally. JWI is a Steering Committee member of the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women and convenes the Interfaith Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence and the Clergy Task Force to End Domestic Abuse in the Jewish Community, and is a member of the Gun Violence Table. JWI’s advocacy efforts focus on the passage of legislation that supports women and girls, ensures their economic security, and protects their right to live free of violence.