CEO Nancy Northup’s Statement on President Biden’s Executive Order

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(New York) – Today, President Joe Biden issued an executive order repealing the Global Gag Rule that had been re-issued and greatly expanded during the Trump Administration; beginning the repeal of the Title X rule; withdrawing the U.S. co-sponsorship and signature from the Geneva Consensus Declaration; and restoring funding to United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).  This follows President Biden’s announcement last week to rejoin the World Health Organization.

The following is a statement from Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights on this executive order:

Today the Biden administration took an important first step towards righting the Trump administration’s tremendous wrongs impacting access to reproductive health, rights, and justice.  In revoking the Global Gag Rule and acting to rescind the Domestic Gag Rule, President Biden is stopping policies that were intended to force reproductive health centers, in the U.S. and around the world, to stop providing and referring for abortion services.

The Biden administration also disavowed the disgraceful anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQI+ “declaration” that the Trump administration co-sponsored in October and ordered the State Department to take the steps needed to restore funding to the UNFPA and to ensure that there are adequate funds to support women’s reproductive and sexual health needs globally.

We applaud these actions and urge the Biden administration to act swiftly to address all aspects of the harmful anti-reproductive rights legacy of the Trump administration:

  • Rescind other Trump-era regulations, including those that allow health care workers to deny reproductive health services and information, and regulations that allow employers and universities to deny contraceptive coverage to their employees and students. 
  • Restore reporting on sexual and reproductive health and rights in the State Department’s annual country reports on human rights.  
  • Disavow the report by the Trump-era State Department’s Commission on Unalienable Rights.
  • But it is not enough for the Biden administration to return to the pre-Trump status quo. There is urgent work still to be done to fulfill the President’s commitment to sexual and reproductive health and rights, including:
  • Stop over-broad implementation of the Helms Amendment and push for its Congressional repeal.
  • Promote reproductive health policies guided by science, not ideology: The FDA should take the same approach to allowing access to medication abortion by telemedicine, in line with its approach to other drugs. 
  • Address racial disparities in maternal health care by launching an interagency task force co-led by the White House and HHS, specifically dedicated to advancing respectful maternal health care and promoting expansion of Medicaid coverage to at least one year postpartum. 
  • Champion reproductive rights legislation, including the Women’s Health Protection Act, the EACH Woman Act, the Global HER Act, and the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act.
  • Support the inclusion and recognition of sexual and reproductive rights as fundamental human rights in UN processes and accept and implement the recommendations made to the US on reproductive rights during the Universal Periodic Review.

With these steps the United States can respect and support each person’s ability to make decisions about their reproductive health and life, and have access to the full range of reproductive health care services and information.