The impact of the ‘Global Gag Rule’ on migrant women and women from poor households in Cape Town

A case study

The USA’s ‘Global Gag Rule’, officially called ‘Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance’, was reinstated in 2017 when the Republican administration returned to office. This policy “prohibits US global health assistance from being provided to foreign nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) that perform abortion in cases other than a threat to the life of the woman, rape or incest; provide counselling (including advice or information) and/or referral for abortion; or lobby to make abortion legal or more available in their own country, even if these activities are performed with funding from other, non-US government (USG) sources”.

This case study explores the impact of ideologically-based funding restrictions on a small Cape Town-based NGO working within gender based violence and sexual and reproductive health.