Members of #Fight4Her embraced cold conditions to protest Ohio Sen. Rob Portman’s support of the “Global Gag Rule.”
#Fight4Her is a nationwide campaign to repeal the Mexico City policy also known as the Global Gag Rule — a law reinstated in 2017 that denies United States aid and funding to any foreign nongovernmental organization that performs abortions or gives out any information about them — according to Carrie Coisman, Ohio organizer for the #Fight4Her campaign. The campaign demonstrated outside Portman’s office in downtown Columbus Thursday evening to encourage Portman to sign a new act.
“So far, 31,000 people have died as the result of this gag rule because they’re not given access to adequate medical treatment,” Coisman said. “We are trying to get Sen. Portman to agree to sign the Health, Empowerment and Rights Act, which would permanently repeal the Global Gag Rule and help save people’s lives.”
Portman was in Washington, D.C., during the protest due to the ongoing impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, but at the time of the law’s passing, Portman expressed his support for the policy in a Jan. 23, 2017 press release.
“I believe in the sanctity of every human life—especially the most vulnerable, like the unemployed or the drug addicted or the unborn. Every life is valuable and deserves to be protected by law,” Portman said in the release. “Ohioans work hard. We don’t want our tax dollars spent on a practice that takes an innocent life and goes against the consciences of half of the country. Now that President Trump has stopped funding for abortions overseas, we should finish the job and permanently ban it at home and abroad.”
Gina Falvo, a second-year in marketing and co-president of #Fight4Her’s Ohio State Chapter, spoke on the history and impact of this law.
“It originally started with the Reagan Administration, and has been a ping-pong effect ever since then,” Falvo said. “Every Republican president puts it into effect, and every Democratic president has rescinded it.”
Lydia Krage, a first-year in chemical engineering, said the movement’s mission goes beyond reproductive rights.
“Our fight isn’t just about protecting reproductive rights and protecting the rights of people around the world,” Krage said. “It’s also to make sure that helpless people that we’re supposed to be helping actually get the support they need.”