Press release dated 30 January 2017
The Elders today expressed concern at the decision by the new US Administration to reintroduce the so-called “Global Gag Rule” that cuts US funding to organisations that help provide abortion services.
When the rule has been enacted by previous US Presidents over the past three decades, it has jeopardised the health and wellbeing of the world’s most vulnerable people.
Gro Harlem Brundtland, Deputy Chair of The Elders, said:
“This decision puts the health of women and children at risk. We know from past experience that when the Global Gag Rule is enacted, health care clinics are forced to close and services for hard-to-reach populations eliminated. If this happens again, vulnerable people will die unnecessarily.”
Mary Robinson, Elder and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, added:
“The decision to re-impose the Global Gag Rule risks reversing progress on maternal, child and reproductive health in the poorest countries and poorest communities. In September 2015 the United States committed to the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development. I hope the new Administration will continue to support aid that helps cut poverty, promote gender equality and build a more prosperous future for our shared planet.”
About The Elders
The Elders are independent leaders using their collective experience and influence for peace, justice and human rights worldwide. The group was founded by Nelson Mandela in 2007.
The Elders are Martti Ahtisaari, Kofi Annan (Chair), Lakhdar Brahimi, Gro Harlem Brundtland (Deputy Chair), Hina Jilani, Ricardo Lagos, Graça Machel, Mary Robinson and Ernesto Zedillo.
Ela Bhatt, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Jimmy Carter and Desmond Tutu are Elders Emeritus.