Thursday, January 22, 2009

Remove The Global Gag

I haven't seen any reference to this in Obama's first day in the office. Today would be a very good day for removing the Global Gag Rule:

1/21/2009 - The incoming Obama/Biden administration is expected to address several key women's rights issues within the next week. Women's rights advocates are hopeful that President Obama will issue executive orders that rescind the global gag rule and release United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) funding that was authorized by Congress and held up by the Bush administration for years.

The Global Gag Rule prohibits family planning programs receiving US federal funds from speaking about or counseling on abortion. The rule was instituted by President Reagan in 1984, was rescinded by President Clinton, and was reinstituted by President Bush. Government relations vice president at Population Action International Tod Preston told the Los Angeles Times that if the global gag rule is rescinded, it will be a "big victory for women overseas….we know their health has been severely impacted by the cutoff. If you want to reduce unintended pregnancies, abortion and women dying from high-risk pregnancies because they don't have access to family planning, you don't do it by cutting off US assistance."

The UNFPA is a United Nations program that deals specifically with population and family planning and has been denied federal funds from the Bush administration for seven consecutive years. The Bush White House falsely cited involvement in sterilization coercion in China as the reason for this decision, despite repeated investigations determining the accusations to be false.