Global Justice Center Blog

Rescinding the Global Gag Rule Isn’t Enough

Excerpt of Foreign Policy op-ed by GJC President Akila Radhakrishnan and CHANGE President Serra Sippel.

Over the past four years, outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump has abandoned even the pretense of a foreign policy grounded in respect for women’s rights and reproductive rights. Perhaps the clearest example was Trump’s unprecedented expansion of the global gag rule, or the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance policy (formerly known as the Mexico City policy). The global gag rule blocks U.S. funding for foreign organizations that provide any services, referrals, or even information for legal abortions, or that advocate for changes to abortion laws in their country. First implemented by the Reagan administration in 1984, the policy has been enforced during all subsequent Republican administrations. Before Trump reinstated it, it applied only to family planning funding. But since 2017, it has been extended to all global health funding.

Today, the gag rule places restrictions on $8 billion of U.S. global health funding, and it’s had grave consequences for women worldwide: As a direct result of the policy’s design to cut funding to healthcare providers, it has led to more maternal deaths and unsafe abortions, a rise in HIV and AIDS, and the breakdown of civil society coalitions and partnerships, such as Marie Stopes International.

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December News Update: Envisioning a Post-Trump World

Dear Friend,

Four years of President Trump has devastated sexual and reproductive rights around the world. The Biden-Harris administration promises to "build back better" on human rights and global institutions, but what does that look like exactly?

As Serra Sippel of CHANGE said during our recent webinar, policies like a repeal of the Global Gag Rule "must be the floor, not the ceiling." The Biden administration must take a systematic approach to dismantling Trump-era policies, using feminism as a guiding principle.

Join us as we gear up to fight for our feminist vision for human rights.

Read the Full Newsletter

The Great Regression

Excerpt of International Bar Association article that quotes GJC President Akila Radhakrishnan.

Further, President Trump was successful in securing a 6-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court for decades to come by appointing Justice Amy Coney Barrett after the death of the Court’s stalwart defender of women’s rights, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Akila Radhakrishnan, President of the Global Justice Center, is concerned that such a politically biased Supreme Court could spell disaster for many rights that were already on tenterhooks. ‘The Supreme Court doesn’t look like it’s going to stand up for women’s rights anymore. And that’s terrifying,’ she says.

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Women’s Community COVID Letter to the Biden – Harris Administration

Dear President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris,

Thank you for taking an aggressive stance in your administration’s planned response to the public health and economic crisis we are facing as a nation. We also appreciate that the COVID response team will prioritize racial equity under the leadership of Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith. We strongly believe that centering race within the COVID response is essential to building back better from the pandemic.

Women, disproportionately Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women, are on the front lines of responding to COVID-19 – as health care workers, child care providers, groceryclerks, and other essential workers sustaining us through this pandemic. And yet, women are shouldering the brunt of the pain from our nation’s inadequate response. During this crisis, we are more likely to lose our jobs, more likely to be doing unpaid care work at home, and more likely to be pushed out of the labor force altogether.

Read the Full Letter

A Feminist Vision for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in a Biden Administration


The Biden-Harris administration has promised to "build back better," but what does that mean for US policy on human rights? Moderated by author Jill Filipovic, this conversation dives deep into the possibilities presented by the incoming administration to advance global reproductive health and rights.

Panelists include:

  • Akila Radhakrishnan, President, Global Justice Center
  • Serra Sippel, President, Center for Health and Gender Equity
  • Anu Kumar, Presdient, Ipas

Watch the Webinar