On Wednesday, the "Resist Trump. Stop The Gag" protest, a protest and march against Donald Trump's Global Gag Rule (aka the Mexico City policy) is going down in Washington. Women's health and rights advocates, human rights and justice organizations, medical professionals, faith leaders, and more will protest and march at the White House and, yes, it's taking place on International Women's Day.
First, what is the Global Gag Rule anyway? It's a policy that prohibits non-U.S. organizations that receive U.S. funding from providing, referring, or even mentioning abortion services. Trump's Global Gag Rule applies to all U.S. global health assistance. Of course, this is a ~huge~ deal. It is not just limited to abortion services, but also basic health care for millions of people worldwide.
Trump’s Global Gag Rule will likely contribute to at least 6.5 million unintended pregnancies and more than two million unsafe abortions, according to a press release from the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE). CHANGE is one of the almost 40 organizers of tomorrow's protest. Steering committee members include CHANGE, Advocates for Youth, Catholics for Choice, Feminist Majority Foundation, In Our Own Voice, National LGBTQ Task Force, and NAPAWF. In addition, according to CHANGE, funding for programs such as HIV prevention, malaria, and tuberculosis will be at risk under the rule.
And, the Gag Rule will stop the introduction of new, effective contraception options for some of the poorest regions of the world. Plus, it'll effect infectious diseases, such as Zika and Ebola, as well as maternal and child survival rates.
On March 8, in Washington, D.C. Participants will gather in Freedom Plaza at 11:00 a.m., then March to the White House along 14th Street NW to Lafayette Park, where the protest will occur. There, speakers will share first-hand accounts of what Trump's Global Gag Rule means for women and people around the world. Organizers will call for an end to the Global Gag Rule and ask for support of the Global HER Act, which was introduced by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY). The Global HER Act would provide for permanent repeal of the Global Gag Rule. Plus, the HER Act would make sure that eligible organizations be able to keep providing health services with U.S. funds. Meanwhile, abortion-related expenses would be paid for on their own (per the Helms Amendment).
Of course, many, many, MANY people do not think politics should have a say in women's sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice. Many people and organizations took to Twitter to show their support for tomorrow's march/protest.
#TrumpGlobalGag puts women’s lives in danger. Our government has no place in dictating conversations between women & their doctors.— Rep. Barbara Lee (@RepBarbaraLee) February 28, 2017
But, women are also trying to stay optimistic.
So What Can You Do?
Join the protest tomorrow, March 8, is one thing.