H.R.2738 -- Global Democracy Promotion Act (Introduced in House - IH)
The Congress finds the following:S.119 -- Global Democracy Promotion Act (Introduced in Senate - IS) is the corresponding bill submitted in the United States Senate.
(1) It is a fundamental principle of American medical ethics and practice that health care providers should, at all times, deal honestly and openly with patients. Any attempt to subvert the private and sensitive physician-patient relationship would be intolerable in the United States and is an unjustifiable intrusion into the practices of health care providers when attempted in other countries.
(2) Freedom of speech is a fundamental American value. The ability to exercise the right to free speech, which includes the `right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances' is essential to a thriving democracy and is protected under the United States Constitution.
(3) The promotion of democracy is a principal goal of United States foreign policy and critical to achieving sustainable development. It is enhanced through the encouragement of democratic institutions and the promotion of an independent and politically active civil society in developing countries.
(4) Limiting eligibility for United States development and humanitarian assistance upon the willingness of a foreign nongovernmental organization to forgo its right to use its own funds to address, within the democratic process, a particular issue affecting the citizens of its own country directly undermines a key goal of United States foreign policy and would violate the United States Constitution if applied to United States-based organizations.
(5) Similarly, limiting the eligibility for United States assistance on a foreign nongovernmental organization's willingness to forgo its right to provide, with its own funds, medical services that are legal in its own country and would be legal if provided in the United States constitutes unjustifiable interference with the ability of independent organizations to serve the critical health needs of their fellow citizens and demonstrates a disregard and disrespect for the laws of sovereign nations as well as for the laws of the United States.
A gag rule is a rule that limits or forbids the raising, consideration or discussion of a particular topic by members of a legislative or decision-making body.Historically, in the United States, the gag rule was used to prohibit and suppress anti-slavery petitions, rather a tarnished history.
Then, there is the Global Gag Rule:
The Global Gag Rule is a previous U.S. policy that harmed women’s health and ran counter to our broader U.S. foreign policy goals. The Gag Rule was first imposed by the Reagan administration at the 1984 United Nations International Conference on Population in Mexico City. It was rescinded in 1993 by President Clinton, reinstated in 2001 by President George W. Bush, and once again rescinded by President Obama in 2009.The Population Connection Action Fund is sponsoring an action to "permanently bar a future president from unilaterally imposing the Global Gag Rule—a policy that has long undermined family planning programs throughout the developing world".:
The Gag rule denied foreign organizations receiving U.S. family planning assistance the right to use their own non-U.S. funds to provide information, referrals or services for legal abortion or advocate for the legalization abortion in their country. Family planning providers that declined U.S. funding while the Gag Rule was in place were forced to close clinics and cut services, and some of these organiza¬tions have yet to resume services with U.S. government assistance, due to fears that their funding will once again be cut off under a future administration.
The Gag Rule hurts women by allowing critical programs to be held hostage to the ping-pong game of U.S. partisan politics. A majority of Americans from across the ideological spectrum support the current Administration’s policy that does not impose such ideological restrictions on women’s health centers. PAI advocates for a permanent legislative repeal of the Gag Rule.
The Global Gag Rule, when it is in effect, disqualifies some of the most effective and experienced family planning providers in the world from receiving U.S. assistance. Those that aren't disqualified are barred from even discussing legal abortion as a safe alternative for women who come to them for help. That just leads to more unsafe abortions. President Obama lifted the policy in his first week in office, but the threat that a future president could reinstate it just as quickly continues to undermine family planning efforts in the developing world.