Global Justice Center Blog

FOIA: The Helms Amendment, Global Gag Rule, and Other U.S. Abortion Restrictions

March 6, 2017 – Ongoing

Beginning in March 2017, GJC filed FOIA requests to the State Department, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and USAID to request “information on all emails, internal memos, contracts, grants and awards since November 8, 2016 that discuss or mention the Helms amendment, Global Gag Rule, the ‘Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance’ policy, or other US abortion restrictions on foreign assistance.”

GJC received expedited processing on these requests with State and HHS on the grounds that “failure to obtain requested information…could reasonably be expected to pose an imminent threat to the life or physical safety of an individual”; the USAID request was not granted expedited processing.

State Department timeline (case F-2017-05062):

State Department timeline (case F-2018-02397):

USAID timeline (case F-00137-17):

USAID timeline (case number F-00118-18):

HHS timeline (case 2017-00983-FOIA-OS):

HHS timeline (case 2018-00822-FOIA-OS):

Department of Defense timeline (case 18-F-0903):