Washington, D.C. – The Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE) launched the “Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Index: Grading U.S. Global Health Assistance” in partnership with the Global Women’s Institute at the George Washington University during December. The index is the first tool ever to critically assess the U.S. government’s global health policies and funding that impact sexual and reproductive health and rights, and measures its performance by grading it annually.

The launch of the index comes on the heels of reports of an aggressive campaign from the Trump administration to ban U.S. diplomats’ use of the terms “sexual and reproductive health,” “comprehensive sexuality education,” and other gender-related terms that are necessary to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights in U.S. global health policy. “It is civil society’s duty to hold the U.S. government accountable to its commitments to sexual and reproductive health and rights in global health funding, and to ensure that it is transparent in its decisions,” said Serra Sippel, president of CHANGE. “For example, the White House’s grades dropped consequently from an A- in 2016 to a C- in 2017 because of the Trump administration’s expansion of the Global Gag Rule and its decision to entirely defund the United Nations Population Fund. The White House has clearly prioritized its conservative ideology over the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls globally. . .”

The U.S. government’s overall grade in 2016 was a B (85.1) and a C (76.7) in 2017. During the same years, the six federal government actors that the index measures had the following grades: (key: actor/domain), 2016/2017): White House, A- ( 92.2)/C- ( 72.6); Congress, B- ( 80.8)/C+ (78.4); U.S. Agency for International Development, B+ (87.2) A- ( 91.5); U.S. Department of State, B- ( 80.9)/B- ( 82.5); U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, D+ (69.4)/D+ (69.4); and U.S. Department of Defense, D+ (69.4)/ D+ (69.4). In addition, the U.S. government’s grades dropped significantly from 2016 to 2017 across all three domains of sexual and reproductive health and rights that the index analyzes: family planning, B- ( 81.8)/ D (65.1); maternal and child health, B (83.8)/ C+ (78); and HIV and AIDS, B+ (89.6)/ B (86.8). (Q Notes Online – Lainey Millen at https://goqnotes.com/62155/new-index-grades-u-s-government-on-sexual-and-reproductive-health-and-rights-issues/)