The Nordic Region must distance itself from the Global Gag Rule

23.06.20 | News
Global Gag Rule
Photographer
Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / Scanpix
In 2017, the USA introduced the Global Gag Rule, which prohibits financial aid to international organisations that perform or refer women for abortions. This is a retrograde step for gender equality and a blow to women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights, according to the Committee for Welfare in the Nordic Region. The Committee is calling on the Nordic governments to distance themselves from the rule, and to enhance Nordic and international cooperation on women’s abortion rights.

“Regardless of whether they are rape survivors, very young girls, women with social and health challenges – or for any number of reasons – women must have the right and opportunity to have an abortion. That is how it ought to be in the Nordic Region, and how it ought to be all over the world,” says Committee member Nina Sandberg. The problem with the Global Gag Rule is that it means the United States has withdrawn billions of dollars from support for organisations that perform or refer women for abortions. This makes it more difficult or impossible for women who want an abortion. The Nordic Green Left party group on the Nordic Council is concerned about the situation, and has proposed that the Welfare Committee recommend that the Nordic governments react to the situation.

Call to oppose the Global Gag Rule 

Specifically, the Committee for Welfare in the Nordic Region is calling on the Nordic governments to:

 

  • Distance themselves from the Global Gag Rule

 

  • Build strong Nordic cooperation within international work on women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Regardless of whether they are rape survivors, very young girls, women with social and health challenges – or for any number of reasons – women must have the right and opportunity to have an abortion. That is how it ought to be in the Nordic Region, and how it ought to be all over the world

 

Nina Sandberg, Committee for Welfare in the Nordic Region

As young people in the Nordic Region, we find it profoundly concerning

According to the think tank the Kaiser Family Foundation, 1,275 organisations worldwide risk losing billions in subsidies due to the Global Gag Rule. One consequence of this is the closure of clinics in Third World countries, which means that women are denied the option of a safe abortion.

“As young people in the Nordic Region, we find it profoundly concerning that other young people do not have the same right to abortion that we do,” say Margrét Steinun Benediktsdóttir and Dag Henrik Nygård, the Committee’s Nordic Youth Council representatives. They recommend closer Nordic and international co-operation in the field, both politically and among youth organisations.