Read below for messaging guidance to nail your op-ed, letter to the editor, or interview about Trump's Global Gag Rule and broader attacks on reproductive rights and health.

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Donald Trump’s attacks on reproductive rights threaten people and communities across the country and around the world. By imposing dangerous restrictions that defy logic and eliminating necessary aid, his policies are having harmful and deadly consequences. We will continue to fight against efforts to restrict reproductive rights and demand laws that respect, support, and empower people seeking reproductive health care here and abroad.


Trump’s agenda for reproductive rights:

  • expands offensive restrictions on health care that have life-threatening consequences;

  • puts ideology over health;

  • is an undemocratic restriction of free speech;

  • shifts resources to failed policies that increase unsafe abortion; and,

  • ignores the fact that family planning saves lives.


Trump’s Global Gag Rule seems to have two objectives: to hamstring efforts to seriously address the crisis of unsafe abortion throughout the developing world; and, to turn the U.S. global health budget into a slush fund for conservative religious organizations.

  • Trump’s Global Gag Rule restricts family planning and results in deadly consequences by cutting funding for medical supplies, health care, and contraception. It affects more than family planning and reproductive health care funding, impacting $8.8 billion in U.S. global health aid. Because of Trump’s Global Gag Rule, fewer people will get access to care that prevents HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, and other infectious diseases.  

  • Trump’s Global Gag Rule builds on a history of deadly, anti-choice policy that hurts people around the world. The Helms Amendment prevents any U.S. foreign assistance dollars from directly paying for abortion; the Global Gag Rule goes further, and prevents clinics that receive U.S. aid from counseling about, providing referrals for, or performing abortions at any time, even if they use non-U.S. dollars for these services. 

  • As many as 31,000 women die every year from unsafe abortions — nearly all in developing countries. Indeed, it’s impossible to seriously address women’s health without considering the impact of unsafe abortion.


Trump’s Global Gag Rule and the Helms Amendment deny people access to family planning services and information to prevent unintended and unwanted pregnancy.


  • Together, Trump’s Global Gag Rule and the Helms Amendment are the epitome of putting ideology ahead of evidence. These unfair restrictions on people’s autonomy undermine global health programs and outcomes.

  • All Trump’s Global Gag Rule does is create a barrier to patients getting family planning information and contraceptives, which are highly effective at preventing unintended pregnancy. 

  • Donald Trump and Mike Pence don’t trust people to make their own health care decisions.

    • Pence has led the charge to defund Planned Parenthood, and has supported "personhood" legislation. He also has direct experience with the disastrous consequences of shuttering clinics that serve low-income families. As Governor of Indiana, he pushed policies that closed a Planned Parenthood clinic in a poorer region of the state. As it happened, it was the only place in that region providing HIV testing and prevention services. Soon after the clinic closed, HIV rates skyrocketed in that very area.

    • Trump has said there should be some form of punishment for a woman who gets an abortion. 

    • Trump has appointed two anti-choice justices to the Supreme Court, and campaigned on appointing judges who do not believe Roe v. Wade is a valid ruling.

    • Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services has implemented a Domestic Gag Rule, which ends Title X family planning funding for organizations that also provide abortions. Planned Parenthood, which serves over 40% of Title X patients, will either have to make up the funding shortfall or stop offering health services on a sliding scale. Without income-based subsidies, many Planned Parenthood patients will have nowhere else to turn.

    • Trump’s Department of State stripped language highlighting violations to women’s rights from its annual Human Rights Report, using the report to provide cover to violations of women’s fundamental human rights rather than to provide a tool for accountability.


Trump’s Global Gag Rule and the Helms Amendment increase unsafe abortion.

  • Trump’s Global Gag Rule is causing clinics to close, contraceptive supplies to dry up, mobile health delivery to end, and costs to patients to rise.

  • The Global Gag Rule, under George W. Bush, caused abortion rates in the most-affected African countries to increase by 40%, according to a study recently published by Stanford University researchers. Most of those abortions were unsafe. We can expect the results of Trump's Global Gag Rule to be at least as detrimental, as his version of the Global Gag Rule is greatly expanded compared to Bush's version.

  • The U.S. has long prohibited the use of monetary assistance to provide abortions overseas, via the Helms Amendment. The Helms Amendment has a chilling effect — as the U.S. government intends — on abortion care and women’s rights in developing countries. It creates confusion and divisive rhetoric around reproductive rights, and stunts countries' social progress.

The Global HER Act would permanently repeal the Global Gag Rule and ensure that clinics receive funding for family planning and reproductive health care.

  • Because the Global Gag Rule has always been an executive order, it’s come and gone depending on who is in the White House. The Global HER Act would permanently repeal the policy and prevent a future president from unilaterally reinstating it.

  • Once Trump’s Global Gag Rule is successfully and permanently repealed, advocates must work with Congress to end the Helms Amendment and unfreeze foreign aid dollars from going towards abortion care.  


Investment in international reproductive health and family planning saves lives.

  • We know that when people can make their own health care decisions, their families and their communities thrive.

    • The power to decide whether or when to get pregnant is critical to everyone's health, autonomy, dignity, educational opportunity, and economic security. Ensuring that every person has this power will strengthen families, communities, and countries across the globe.

  • In 2019, the U.S. appropriated more than $600 million in international family planning funding. This funding is projected to prevent 7.2 million unintended pregnancies, 3.2 million unplanned births, 2 million unsafe abortions, and 14,700 maternal deaths. We should be investing in more international family planning, not less.

  • Women with access to contraception have higher incomes, own more farmland and other assets, and have healthier families. This leads to greater economic freedom and stability for women and their families in developing countries, which has been found to contribute to economic growth and greater prosperity.


Download our factsheets for more information about the Global Gag Rule, the Global HER Act, and the Helms Amendment.