Evaluating the EU’s response to the US Global Gag Rule. State of play and challenges ahead

European Union Publications Office
Publication date:



This study commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the FEMM Committee, maps out the challenges the European Union faces in promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights and the prevention of gender based violence in its external action, especially in providing aid to developing countries against the backdrop of US Global Gag Rule. The European Union is a leading actor in promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) worldwide. The recent restoration of the Mexico City Policy – also known as Global Gag Rule – by the US administration in 2017, and its further expansion in 2019 put a break on progress made in the field of SRHR globally. In this context, the European Institutions and the EU Member States have mobilized political and financial resources to support SRHR programmes worldwide and contribute to the advancement of Sustainable Development Goals related to good health and well-being (SDG 3) and gender equality (SDG 5). However, the EU and Member States’ responses to the challenges brought about by the Mexico City Policy are still fragmented. In addition, political and cultural beliefs in EU and partner countries and the emerging political crisis (Brexit) and health crisis (Covid-19 pandemic) need to be taken into account when formulating future responses.

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