Obama rescinds Bushist anti women measure

This video from the USA is about the Global Gag Rule.

Because of the global gag rule, local reproductive health care organizations abroad have faced a dangerous dilemma: either accept desperately needed U.S. funds but deny women lifesaving services and information, or reject U.S. assistance and be forced to cut crucial prevention services; with devastating results.

Reuters reports:

Obama lifts restrictions on abortion funding

By Jeff Mason and Deborah Charles

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama on Friday lifted restrictions on U.S. government funding for groups that provide abortion services or counseling abroad, reversing a policy of his Republican predecessor George W. Bush, a spokesman said.

The Democratic president’s decision was a victory for advocates of abortion rights on an issue that in recent years has become a tit-for-tat policy change each time the White House shifts from one party to the other.

When the ban was in place, no U.S. government funding for family planning services could be given to clinics or groups that offer abortion services or counseling in other countries even if the funds for those activities come from non-U.S. government sources.

Obama signed an executive order lifting the restrictions on Friday, a White House spokesman said.

It has been called the Mexico City Policy because it was unveiled at a United Nations conference there in 1984 and became one of the centerpiece social policies of the conservative administration of former President Ronald Reagan, a Republican.

Critics call it the “[global] gag rule” because it also cuts funds to groups that advocate or lobby for the lifting of abortion restrictions, so they say it infringes on free speech. They also say it has reduced healthcare for some of the world’s poorest women.

Former President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, rescinded the rule when he took office in January 1993 and his successor, Republican George W. Bush, reinstated it in January 2001.

Planned Parenthood, a health care provider and advocacy group for abortion rights, welcomed the move.

See also here.

When Bill Clinton took office, many people expected progressive reforms from him. The rescinding of this anti women policy was one of few that he actually implemented. The only other one which I remember right now was trying to stop discrimination of gay people in the armed forces. However, Clinton soon backed down on this because of opposition by armed forces top brass; the hypocritical “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gays in the armed forces became the result of this.

Clinton disappointed his progressive voters on many issues: economic “reforms” that helped big business and damaged, eg, people on welfare. War in Yugoslavia. The disappointment on this, along with electoral fraud by Bush’s little brother Jeb in Florida, helped George W. Bush get the presidency in 2000.

Now with the Obama presidency, progressives’ hopes are even higher than when Clinton started. What will become of those hopes? So far, my impression of Obama is more favourable than of Clinton. However, it has been only a few days yet.

Nicaraguan women petition government to restore legal abortion: here.

3 thoughts on “Obama rescinds Bushist anti women measure

  1. Pingback: Obama’s presidency, an incomplete balance sheet | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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