Director Jael van der Heijden: “We must continue working on safe sex for young people globally”

New research shows that the consequences of Trump’s Mexico City Policy, better known as the global gag rule, are severe: organisations working on sexual health have been weakened and services have been reduced. This policy was installed two years ago, blocking organizations that receive US funding to provide abortion counselling, referrals, or abortion services. Dance4Life takes a firm stand on this.

Sex is a sensitive topic
Executive Director Jael van der Heijden: “Sex is still a sensitive topic. Therefore it is extremely important that young people have access to information and services. This has now been obstructed by the global gag rule. We need to work together to create a strong movement realizing the right to safe sex for young people, women and girls.”

Harmful impact of the Global Gag Rule
The new report from Planned Parenthood shows how Trump’s policy has weakened civil society by effectively silencing – gagging means silencing – them. It also has prevented these organisations from providing evidence- and rights-based information, counselling and health care for millions of women and girls in over 60 countries. Organizations have been forced to close health clinics or drastically reduce their services – including HIV testing, contraceptives and counselling – after their funding was cut.

What exactly is it about?
President Trump reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy exactly two years ago, a policy used by republican administrations since the 1980s. The policy denies international non-governmental organizations that receive U.S. funding, the right to use even their own funds to provide information, referrals or services related to abortion. Research indicates that the policy has been counter-productive in the past. This has led to increased number of unsafe abortions in countries affected by the Global Gag Rule.

“This policy is unacceptable. It violates the human right to health of millions of people, while unsafe sex is one of the fastest growing health risks for young people”

Towards support and openness around sex
We cannot stay silent about the Global Gag Rule. Jael van der Heijden: “This policy is unacceptable. It violates the human right to health of millions of people while unsafe sex is one of the fastest growing health risks for young people. Supporting young people to make informed decisions about their sexual health, and being able to talk openly about it, is key to changing this. We work together with our franchisees, partners on the ground, and in strategic partnerships worldwide but also with decision-makers, parents and teachers to empower young people. This is proven to contribute to young people’s education, well-being and future income. Our task now is to continue building this movement to safeguard sexual and reproductive health and rights.”


For more information about the Global Gag Rule:
Population Action International
Planned Parenthood Federation