VIDEO: Watch Lexi Lawson, Phoenix Best & More Sing Out in Support of Global Her Project
A new short musical film - the Global Her Project - released today, uses song and dance to explain the global gag rule and educate viewers on how they can take action to help end the harmful policy by urging their members of Congress to support the Global H.E.R. Act.
Opening with patients in line at a medical clinic the piece, which stars Hamilton's Lexi Lawson, Batwoman's Nicole Kang, Dear Evan Hansen's Phoenix Best, and renowned dancer & choreographer Gus Solomon Jr., evolves into song about the global gag rule's pervasive impact on NGOs and clinics around the world. In the end, Lawson calls her Congressional Representative, "I'd like to urge you to end the Global Gag Rule and support the Global HER Act today." A phone number and script on what to say are also provided.
The creative team behind The Global HER Project includes director and choreographer Mary John Frank, producers Jess Jacobs and Erica Rose, and was made in collaboration with the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE), the National Women's Law Center, and PAI. The release comes one day before International Day of the Girl on October 11th.
The Global H.E.R. Act (Health, Empowerment & Rights Act) was introduced by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) and could permanently end Trump's global gag rule. First implemented under Ronald Regan in 1984, the global gag rule's revival under President Trump has hindered the ability of international NGOs to provide information, counseling or referrals for abortion services. Trump's Global Gag Rule targets nearly all global health assistance funds, and has already cut funding for programs targeting issues like HIV and AIDS, maternal and child health, malaria, tuberculosis, nutrition, non-communicable diseases, water, sanitation and hygiene at the household and community levels, and the Zika virus in addition to family planning and reproductive health services.
"There is so much happening domestically that it is easy to miss the more nuanced policies that don't affect American voters directly, but have a major impact on our world as a whole. Our goal is to shed light on this complicated policy and to provide a clear call to action," says director of the film, Mary John Frank. "I hope that our song sticks in the minds of viewers and that they are moved to call their representatives by the end."
"We must open our eyes to both American and foreign politics," explained Lexi Lawson, who stars in The Global HER Project: A Musical Short on Ending the Global Gag Rule. "Not many people realize how much other countries depend on America. That it can be a life or death situation all by the decision of our U.S. government, by the people who are voted in. We must use our voice. We must use our voice. We must use our voice."
"The Trump administration's global gag rule is an unprecedented attack on health and human rights across the world-it has already resulted in cutting life-saving services such as access to HIV prevention and treatment, maternal health services, contraceptives, safe abortion, water and sanitation," said Serra Sippel, President of the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE). "In short: this horrendous expansion of what was already bad policy is creating chaos in global health and Trump's global gag rule is a matter of life or death for millions of people. It is up to Congress to right its wrongs and end the policy once and for all. This new video serves as a critical tool to educate U.S. citizens about the harm the Trump administration is imposing overseas and mobilize them to take action. CHANGE is proud to collaborate with these incredible artists on this creative and fun way to mobilize people to take action."
"While it's easy to feel helpless with this current administration, we cannot remain complacent and we must make our dissent heard! Film is an incredible way to spread awareness about social issues that tend to be overlooked or misunderstood," explained Erica Rose, producer of the Global HER Project video. "The Global Her Project was brought to life by a brilliant team of mostly womxn, POC, and queer creators. There is power in numbers and this group banded together to create a politically engaged and creative video, which we're all very proud of."
"Having spent time in the various communities working domestically toward reproductive justice, I was appalled and offended to learn of the Global Gag Rule - and especially surprised that more people weren't talking about it. The right to choice and to dignified healthcare ought to be universal and the fact that, as a nation, we withhold life-saving financial assistance to advance an agenda of oppression is simply unacceptable," added Jess Jacobs, producer of the Global HER Project video. "It is so crucial in these moments that we can use our voices, figuratively and literally, to speak out against harmful policies and use whatever tools we have in our toolboxes to affect change. Collaborating with this incredible group of artists, technicians and experts to shed light on the issue, to educate the public and to drive action - through song and dance, no less - was and is one of the most empowering experiences I've had in my career, both as a producer and as an advocate."