NIRH Applauds Repeal of Global Gag Rule, Citing Abortion Care as Critical to Family Planning

January 28, 2021
CONTACT: Kelly Novak, [email protected]

NEW YORK – The National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) applauds the Biden-Harris administration for repealing the Mexico City Policy, also known as the “global gag rule,” through executive order today, and for the administration’s directive to the Department of Health and Human Services to immediately reconsider the Trump-Pence administration’s change to Title X funding regulations, also known as the “domestic gag rule.”

The policy, first enacted by the Reagan administration and volleyed from enacted to repealed by each presidential administration since, has denied U.S. funding to foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) unless they agreed to not provide or even discuss abortion care as a method of family planning. The Trump-Pence administration reinstituted and expanded the policy, holding as political hostage funding for HIV, maternal and child health, nutrition, and other critical programs.

“The ‘global gag rule’ has long been a political football, cruelly enacted by anti-abortion presidential administrations to score cheap political points – at the cost of harming people all over the world,” said Andrea Miller, president of the National Institute of Reproductive Health. “Reproductive health care providers should never have to choose between the funding they need and being able to provide comprehensive care to their patients. Discussing abortion as an option, or offering abortion care, is a necessary and healthy part of family planning medicine.

“We are relieved that the Biden-Harris administration has repealed this horrendous policy – especially as it had been expanded under the previous administration – and look forward to seeing the next steps they will take to improve access to care, including abortion. That includes lifting the medically unnecessary in-person dispensing requirement for medication abortion for the duration of the pandemic, and making good on their commitment to remove discriminatory abortion coverage bans like the Hyde amendment that unfairly deny access to low-income people, and have a disproportionate impact on Black, Indigenous, and people of color,” Miller said.

President Biden also directed the Health and Human Services Department to consider rolling back the Trump-Pence administration’s “domestic gag rule,” which blocked qualified health care providers from receiving Title X funding if they discussed abortion care with their patients. 

“Health care providers should never, ever be put in a position between deciding whether to keep their doors open or provide the best care they can,” Miller continued. “The Department of Health and Human Services should repeal that Title X rule immediately, and allow qualified family planning health care providers to do what they do best – provide comprehensive care to patients.”


 The National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) is an advocacy group that works directly with state and local reproductive health, rights, and justice organizations and allied groups to protect and advance access to reproductive healthcare. Our strategy is to go on the offensive to pass laws that safeguard reproductive freedom. NIRH partners with communities to build coalitions, launch campaigns, and successfully advocate for policy change, so the fabric of reproductive freedom is harder to tear apart.