The new president and new Congress are quickly working to restore access to reproductive health care in the U.S. and around the world. President Biden repealed the Global Gag Rule, restored funding to UNFPA, and took steps to dismantle the Title X Domestic Gag Rule. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) re-introduced the Global HER Act in the Senate and House, respectively. We’re closer than ever before to permanently repealing the Global Gag Rule!
As we celebrate our wins, we’re thankful to the people who got us to this moment. Over the past four years, over 56,000 #Fight4HER activists have taken action to push back against attempts to roll back access to comprehensive reproductive health care worldwide. Hundreds of volunteers across the country did the hard work of organizing their communities around our bold agenda on reproductive rights and health, hosting high visibility events, attending our annual Capitol Hill Days conference and Summer of HER program, and holding their elected officials accountable. Our volunteer leaders are the backbone of our campaign. Here are just four of the wonderful volunteers who helped build momentum and get us to where we are today.
“Last summer, I participated in the Summer of HER, and it just about changed my life. Since the fellowship ended, I have continued to phone bank and attend National Volunteer Calls. I love this work, and I will continue to do it because it is the 21st century and women’s bodies are still being policed. Women have proved that we are creative, innovative, and educated and that we should be treated as equals. Until then, I will continue being a leader in the #Fight4HER to educate myself and others and amplify the voices of people around the world who need access to comprehensive health care.”
“I started volunteering with #Fight4HER when I met some canvassers on campus my freshman year. I had never heard about the Global Gag Rule before then, so I became determined to contribute to the fight for reproductive rights. Since then, I’ve served as Vice President and President for our club here at the University of Colorado Denver and have participated in Capitol Hill Days. It’s been inspiring to be around so many passionate individuals and contribute to real legislative and social change. I can’t wait to see what’s next for me and #Fight4HER!”
“Last summer, I was a #Fight4HER fellow in Tucson, and I have continued my work with the campaign in California. I have always been passionate about women’s rights and empowering women. During the fellowship, I got to learn about different forms of outreach like relational organizing, phone banking, and talking to people with similar and different views. I had the opportunity to lobby my congressman to thank him for his support of reproductive rights and health. I think it’s so important and exciting to now make sure we pass the Global HER Act to put a permanent end to the Global Gag Rule and to build support for the Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act to repeal the Helms Amendment. I’m looking forward to continuing the fight!”
“I am a 34-year-old New Hampshire resident, wife, and mother of two young girls who became involved with #Fight4HER as a 2020 Summer of HER fellow. After volunteering for a Democratic presidential campaign, I knew I needed to keep the momentum going. I believe in fighting for HER because, globally, empowering women leads to a healthier and safer world. I am proud that NH’s very own Senator Jeanne Shaheen is the primary sponsor of the Global HER Act in the Senate, and I enjoy supporting her efforts. As a woman, mother, and health care provider, I continue to be insulted by political interference in reproductive health care. The Global HER Act reinforces that reproductive freedom is a basic human right—essential and not a political tool.”
Of course, we still have a lot of work to do. Although President Biden repealed the Global Gag Rule, the next president could impose the policy again with just the stroke of a pen. No one person should be able to determine access to reproductive health care for millions of people around the world.
We’re looking forward to continuing working alongside our volunteer leaders to pass the Global HER Act to permanently repeal the Global Gag Rule, ensuring that no future president can unilaterally reinstate it ever again.