The War on Women Goes Global

Posted on May 9, 2012

NARAL Blog for Choice, May 9, 2012 by Thomas

Anti-choice politicians took control of the U.S. House of Representatives 16 months ago, and they’ve been waging a War on Women ever since.

Defunding Planned Parenthood? Check. Rape audits? Check. An all-male panel attacking birth control? Yep, they did that, too.

But now you might be thinking, “These politicians have spent so much time attacking American women’s freedom and privacy. But what about women overseas? Does no one think about them?”

Well, worry no more. The War on Women has gone global.

Today, a key House subcommittee will mark up its annual spending bill, which means it’s a great opportunity for anti-choice politicians to make it harder for the world’s poorest women to get birth control.

Here are some things to look for:


  • United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA): The UNFPA provides birth control and other crucial reproductive-health services (but not abortion care) to the world’s poorest women. The U.S. contribution to the UNFPA prevents 2 million unintended pregnancies a year. Look for anti-choice lawmakers to try to block the U.S. from giving any money to this initiative.
  • U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID): USAID family-planning programs benefit women and families worldwide, resulting in fewer unintended pregnancies and fewer women dying in childbirth. Anti-choice lawmakers want to slash USAID’s family-planning budget by over $100 million.
  • Global Gag Rule: The global gag rule was a policy anti-choice presidents had in place that barred USAID funds from going to any organization that provides abortion care, or even took a public pro-choice position. (That’s why it was called the “gag rule.”) President Obama repealed this outrageous policy his first week in office. Now, anti-choice politicians are trying to bring it back.

So, there you have it. Women of the world: you’re welcome.

Posted in: United States, World