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The Washington Independent

Obama Repeals Ban on Global Abortion Funds

For eight years, the United States has observed a policy that few Americans outside the reproductive rights community probably knew about: International groups

Daniel James
News
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Jan 24, 2009

For eight years, the United States has observed a policy that few Americans outside the reproductive rights community probably knew about: International groups that provide abortions — or even counseling on the procedure — have been barred from receiving federal funding.

Today, that ban ends.

This afternoon, President Barack Obama signed an executive order repealing the restriction, known as the “global gag rule” or the Mexico City Policy. And women’s health advocates and some Democrats are jubilant. From Sen. Barbara Boxer’s (D-Calif.) statement:

Women throughout the world can breathe a sigh of relief and gain access to a full range of family planning services.  The Global Gag Rule prevented organizations that receive U.S. assistance from spending their own privately raised funds to provide legal health care services to women.  That policy was clearly a violation of basic freedoms.  This is a new day for women –- President Obama’s action will save thousands of lives as women throughout the world get access to healthcare they desperately need and want.

Just yesterday, Boxer introduced legislation to overturn the gag rule. Obama’s executive order means there’s no rush to passage.

Daniel James | Daniel James is an author, keynote speaker, and entrepreneur who is a professional coach and gerontologist. Daniel holds a bachelor's degree from Georgia Tech, a master's degree from UCLA, a diploma in gerontology from the University of Boston, as well as a Professional Coaching Certification.

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