Press Releases 2017

“She Decides” Conference: The International Response To Trump’s Global Gag Rule

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She Decides is a new global initiative on sexual health and family planning that aims to support the fundamental right of women and girls to decide if, when and with whom they want to have children. The She Decides initiative is in response to President Trump’s reinstatement of the Mexico City Policy, better known as the Global Gag Rule, which bans financial support to organizations that provide access to safe abortion or information about abortion, even if they do so with their own or non-US funding.

Catholics for Choice joins She Decides along with the governments of Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, and other civil society organizations to call upon the international community and address the injustice and looming healthcare crisis created by the Global Gag Rule.

Catholics for Choice president Jon O’Brien issued the following statement:

“Catholic teachings compel us to acknowledge women’s dignity, respect conscience-based decisions and to care for the least among us. The Global Gag Rule fails on all three fronts.”

“The Rule, which withholds US funding to international organizations that offer abortion, counseling services, or referrals to abortion providers, severely impacts the Global South and some of the poorest countries in the world by gutting practical, life-saving programs and curtailing the effectiveness of global health services.”

“Significantly, the policy is dangerous to the health and welfare of the world’s poorest women and girls. Approximately 830 women already die daily from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth, 99 percent of them in developing countries.”

“Catholics for Choice respects a woman’s right to follow her conscience. She should decide.”

Catholics for Choice joins She Decides along with the governments of Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, and other civil society organizations to call upon the international community and address the injustice and looming healthcare crisis created by the Global Gag Rule.

NOTE: Jon O’Brien is available for interviews and comment.

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Catholics for Choice shapes and advances sexual and reproductive ethics that are based on justice, reflect a commitment to women's well-being and respect and affirm the capacity of women and men to make moral decisions about their lives.