News item

Prime Minister Alexander De Croo welcomes President Biden’s repeal of the Global Gag Rule

Prime Minister Alexander De Croo is pleased to see the “Global Gag Rule” being repealed by US President Joe Biden. In 2017, Alexander De Croo was one of the driving forces behind the launch of the She Decides initiative in reaction to the White House’s decision to ban US support to organizations that support family planning in developing countries. 

US President Joe Biden has today repealed by Presidential Executive Order the “Global Gag Rule” (GGR), officially known as the Mexico City Policy. Since its reinstatement by the White House early 2017, the GGR specifically banned US funding for organizations that support girls and women in developing countries on family planning, contraception and safe abortions.

First She Decides conference in Brussels

To help compensate the loss of funding for these international NGOs, then Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo launched the Global Funding Initiative 'She Decides' together with his Dutch, Danish and Swedish colleagues. In March 2007, Belgium also organized the first international She Decides Conference in Brussels where more than 50 countries and organizations pledged 181 million euros.  

'SheDecides' greatly helped mitigate some of the financial implications of the GGR, and the movement keeps raising awareness and pledges around the world regarding the fundamental right of girls and women to choose for themselves if, when and how many children they want.

Lots of work to remain done

Prime Minister Alexander De Croo is pleased that girls’ and women’s rights are fully embraced by the US administration. “Having the United States back at the table will help ascertain these rights globally, although lots of work remain to be done around the world to enable more girls and women to make their own important choices on their health and on their future,” says De Croo.

While this Executive Order by President Biden is very welcome, a permanent repeal of the GGR through legislative process would help stabilize the situation for women and girls in the world.