Home Institution

Lafayette College

Publication Date

Spring 2017

Program Name

Switzerland: Global Health and Development Policy


There is a wealth of literature about the negative effects of the executive order called the Global Gag Rule, officially known as the Mexico City Policy, and its various manifestations. Despite this, there is a gap in the research about how institutions in affected countries respond to the Global Gag Rule’s family planning restrictions. This qualitative study seeks to provide some insight into how Romanian institutions responded during President George W. Bush’s reinstatement of the policy by using a model of social resilience. Through a literature review of three subjects (social resilience, the Global Gag Rule, and Romania’s family planning history) and interviews with key experts and Romanian reproductive rights advocates, the author identified the ways in which civil society effectively and ineffectively organized itself to respond to family planning restrictions. NGOs were critical in service provision and also maintained informal relationships with the government, but they often neglected structural issues and grassroots activism. In the future, civiccivil society partnerships should grow in order to more holistically provide reproductive healthcare services, and NGOs should look outside their sphere to organizations who can amplify their lobbying efforts. This study is particularly relevant given the reinstatement and expansion of the Global Gag Rule by the Trump administration this past January.


Family, Life Course, and Society | Other Public Health | Politics and Social Change | Public Health Education and Promotion | Women's Health | Women's Studies | Work, Economy and Organizations