Discriminatory and Unequal: Debunking the Fungibility and Fraud Arguments for Trump’s Global Gag Rule

The Trump-Pence Administration and anti-choice Members of Congress have cited the fungibility (the idea that government funds and private funds are interchangeable) of U.S. government funding with foreign organizations’ private funding as a rationale for imposing the Global Gag Rule. This notion is premised on the falsehood that the Global Gag Rule is necessary to prevent U.S. taxpayers’ money from paying for abortions overseas.

A statutory provision, the Helms Amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, has restricted the use of U.S. foreign assistance funds for “abortion as a method of family planning” since 1973. The truth is that the Global Gag Rule denies foreign organizations receiving U.S. global assistance the right to use their own non-U.S. funds to provide information, referrals or services for legal abortion or to advocate for the legalization of abortion in their country.

Still, myths and misconceptions about fungibility and the Global Gag Rule persist. Learn more about the misleading variants of the fungibility argument.

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PAI champions policies that put women in charge of their reproductive health. We work with policymakers in Washington and our network of partners in developing countries to remove roadblocks between women and the services and supplies they need. For over 50 years, we’ve helped women succeed by upholding their basic rights.

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