Evidence for Advocacy

In keeping with our mission to promote structures and policies that advance justice and equity in health, GHJG works with multi-disciplinary partners to translate research findings for use outside of the academic sphere, to promote awareness and access to information, support grassroots advocacy, and inform global and national priority-setting.   

Letter to the FDA Urging it to Make Oral Contraceptives Readily Available

GHJG initiated a September 8, 2021 letter urging the US Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to prioritize completion of the review process to make already common and safe formulations of oral contraceptives available over-the-counter (OTC). Oral contraceptives meet the accepted medical and regulatory criteria for OTC access, have a strong, proven safety record, and are widely available OTC outside of the US. Over 480 members of the public health and medical community joined us in this call. You can also view the letter on PopFam Chair and GHJG Director Terry McGovern’s Medium page.

American Public Health Association Policy Statement on the Global Gag Rule

With the support of the APHA International Abortion Working Group, GHJG led the development of an APHA policy statement on the Global Gag Rule (GGR). The APHA issues policy statements on key public health issues but had not updated their policy statement on the GGR since 1984. The statement was adopted by the APHA governing council in November 2019. Read it here. 

US House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs Hearing: Unique Challenges Women Face in Global Health 

On February 5th, 2020, the House Foreign Affairs Committee held an open hearing on Global Women’s Health, the first in over a decade. Witnesses shared testimony which highlighted how the Trump Administration’s expanded GGR undoes decades of progress in improving women’s and girls’ life chances. GHJG submitted written testimony for the official record, which provides key findings from our research in Kenya, Nepal, and Madagascar. Watch the hearing, and read our testimony here.  

Repealing the Helms Amendment 

The Helms Amendment is a law which bars the use of U.S foreign assistance funding to pay for abortion as a method of family planning, even in countries where abortion is legal. Though it was signed into law in 1973, the Helms Amendment is frequently overinterpreted in much the same way the GGR is, undermining health providers’ ability to deliver available services, and women and girls' access to fundamental information about sexual and reproductive health.  

Given the similarities between the GGR and the Helms Amendment, and the organizations to which they apply, our GGR research uncovered the harmful effects of both policies, particularly in Nepal. We shared results related to the Helms Amendment with colleagues at Ipas, who included the data in advocacy resources about the harms of U.S foreign policies. Read the Nepal brief here.  

COVID-19 and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Factsheets

Access to safe abortion care in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic has been hotly contested in many countries including the United States. Intending to equip state policymakers, advocates, and the public with evidence-based information and expert guidance about the safety and efficacy of abortion during this public health emergency, GHJG and the Center for Reproductive Rights developed the following factsheets:    

Abortion is Essential Health Care: Access is Imperative During COVID-19 

Expanding Telemedicine Can Ensure Abortion Access During COVID-19 Pandemic 

Letter to the Biden Administration in Support of Global Vaccine Equity

GHJG and partners signed a letter linked here urging President Biden and his administration to support the temporary waiver of relevant Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) rules, as first proposed by India and South Africa at the World Trade Organization (WTO). Swift adoption of the temporary waiver is crucial to ensure all countries achieve equitable access to sufficient COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics to end the pandemic and restart the global economy. You can also view the letter on PopFam Chair and GHJG Director Terry McGovern's Medium page.

Gender Based Violence, COVID-19, and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in Six Countries

Between January and September 2020, GHJG conducted rapid assessments of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on gender based violence (GBV) and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in Colombia, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, and the United States. Working with in-country GBV and SRHR experts, we reviewed funding data and legal and policy developments, surveyed 321 service providers, and conducted phone or videoconference interviews with 142 donors, service providers, and advocacy organizations. The following factsheets summarize our policy and qualitative research for advocates, service providers, and program implementers. See our publications page for more in-depth articles as they become available. 

Missing in Action: COVID-19 Response Funding for Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRHR) in Five Countries
 
Colombia 2020: Impacts of COVID-19 on Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) Programs and Services

Colombia 2020: Impactos del COVID-19 sobre programas y servicios en Violencia Basada en Género (VBG) y Derechos y Salud Sexual y Reproductiva (DSSR)
 
Kenya 2020: Impacts of COVID-19 on Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) Programs and Services
 
Uganda 2020: Impacts of COVID-19 on Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) Programs and Services

South Africa 2020: Impacts of COVID-19 on Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) Programs and Services

United States 2020: Impacts of COVID-19 on Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) Programs and Services

Nigeria 2020: Impacts of COVID-19 on Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) Programs and Services