- Getty/ Drew Angerer
Sheryl Sandberg spoke out on Thursday against President Donald Trump’s anti-abortion executive order.
The Facebook COO published a post on her Facebook page that chronicles her time working in India, the healthcare issues she witnessed there, and why she believes Trump’s move on Monday to reinstate the global gag rule – which bans US-funded groups around the world from discussing abortion as an option – will hurt women worldwide.
“We don’t have to guess – we know what this will do,” Sandberg wrote. “The last time the global gag rule was in effect, research showed more women who lost access to contraception had unwanted pregnancies and abortion rates doubled. The best way to prevent abortion is through more family planning services, not fewer.”
While the gag rule’s reinstatement didn’t come as a surprise – past presidents have used it to signal their positions on abortion rights – Sandberg says that this rule is stricter than it has been.
“It bans health organizations around the world from providing counseling on all family planning options,” Sandberg wrote. “If they refuse to abide by the ban, they could lose millions in funding from the United States. And this ban is harsher and broader than past orders by past presidents, because it covers every program that falls under global health assistance. That means it’ll hurt more people.”
Sandberg has become something of a feminist leader since publishing her best-selling book, “Lean In,” in 2013 and founding a women-focused nonprofit of the same name.
Despite publicly endorsing Hillary Clinton for president in June 2016, Sandberg was otherwise quiet throughout the campaign – noteworthy in an election season in which women’s issues were often front and center. As Pando’s Sarah Lacy pointed out in a recent column, Sandberg also did not participate in or publicly mention the Women’s March on Washington, which saw more than 500,000 people descend on the National Mall last Saturday and inspired other marches worldwide, and she has not publicly addressed Trump’s numerous offensive comments about and treatment of women.
Sandberg attended a meeting with other powerful tech execs at Trump Tower in December. The meeting was the first major summit between tech leaders and Trump, who has had a shaky relationship with the industry and who publicly criticized companies like Apple and Amazon while running for office.