WAS condemns Trump’s Global Gag Rule on abortion services

The World Association for Sexual Health (WAS) condemns U.S.A. President Trump’s executive order to reinstate the Global Gag Rule, which prohibits international sexual and reproductive health organizations from receiving U.S.A. funding for contraception if they provide, counsel, refer or advocate for abortion services. The Rule prohibits these activities even if organizations carry them out with their own non-U.S. funding, and even if abortion is legal in their own country.

Beyond its patent violation of human rights recognized by international statutes concerning sexual and reproductive health and rights, and UN Sustainable Development Goals, WAS considers that obstacles to access to abortion will cause an increase of illegal and unsafe abortion which will cause serious harm to women and families. Unsafe abortion is among the main causes of maternal mortality in the countries, where abortion is illegal.

Article 12 of the WAS Declaration of Sexual Rights (2014) states that everyone has the right to make reproductive decisions on their own terms, and that right includes unimpeded access to sexual health services including abortion.

We urge President Trump to reconsider this measure and revoke the Global Gag Rule immediately.

The World Association for Sexual Health (WAS) is an international organization with members across the globe, that promotes and advocates for sexual health and sexual rights throughout the lifespan and across the world by advancing the field of sexology, sexuality research, comprehensive sexuality education, and clinical care and services, all of these informed by evidence and scientific enquiry.