On top of all these executive orders, Biden also repealed the Mexico City Policy or Global Gag Rule. This policy, which prohibits US aid to foreign organisations that refer people to centres that offer abortion or discuss abortion as an option, was successively instituted by Republican presidents and repealed by Democratic presidents. An on and off relationship for years, with all the consequences on the ground.
The repeal of the Global Gag Rule is a big and important step, but it is not yet a permanent repeal. This means that the rule can simply be reinstated by a subsequent Republican president. Also, the effects of the past four years will be felt for a long time to come. Partnerships were under pressure and will have to be rebuilt. Applying for and obtaining funds will also take time. Withdrawal does not mean immediately turning the clock back to how things were before. A permanent withdrawal of the Global Gag Rule would provide much better protection of sexual and reproductive rights.
IPPF Director-General, Dr Alvaro Bermejo, said:
What lies ahead is years of work to undo the damage caused by the Global Gag Rule (...). To protect the rights of future generations of women and girls, we ask that the Biden-Harris administration take the necessary steps to permanently repeal the Global Gag Rule. Without a permanent repeal, the global gag will remain a constant threat to women, girls, youth and marginalised communities. Reproductive rights, bodily autonomy and the right to decide what happens to your body should not be left at the mercy of a pen-pusher.'