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Thursday, 16 February 2017
Page: 1385


The following notice(s) were given:

Dr Leigh: to move:

That this House:

(1) notes that:

(a) the Global Gag Rule (GGR), as implemented by the United States, will prove detrimental to millions of women and girls around the world;

(b) the GGR has expanded to an unprecedented degree, applying to 15 times more funding as a consequence of its extension into all global health funding, which will result in roughly $9.5 billion dollars in global health funding being affected;

(c) the GGR will result in the targeting of some of the most effective health organisations in the world, operating in 60 low and middle income countries;

(d) a study by researchers at Stanford University found that after the GGR came into effect in 2001, the abortion rate increased sharply in sub-Saharan African countries that had been dependent on such funding;

(e) the funding cuts will likely prevent many global health organisations from offering HIV prevention and treatment services, maternal health care and even Zika virus prevention; and

(f) it is possible that as many as 21,700 maternal deaths could occur in the next four years as a consequence of this executive order, which is in addition to 6.5 million unintended pregnancies and 2.1 million unsafe abortions from 2017 to 2020, according to Marie Stopes International;

(2) notes that:

(a) when Labor was in government, overseas development assistance increased from 0.28 per cent of Gross National Income in 2007-08 to 0.37 per cent in 2013-14, and was on track to reach 0.50 per cent in 2017-18; and

(b) under the Coalition, development assistance is now just 0.23 per cent of national income, the lowest level since comparable records began in the 1970s, and well below the OECD average of 0.30 per cent; and

(3) calls on the Australian Government to join the Dutch, Belgian, Swedish and Canadian governments in filling the gap in development assistance funding left by the United States Government’s imposition of the GGR.