Today, President Obama struck down a policy, referred to by critics as "the global gag rule," that prohibited U.S. money from funding international family-planning clinics that promote abortion or provide counseling or referrals about abortion services. Declaring in a statement, Obama said that family planning aid has been used as a "political wedge issue." Obama further said, “It is time we end the politicization of this issue. In the coming weeks, my administration will initiate a fresh conversation on family planning, working to find areas of common ground to best meet the needs of women and families at home and around the world."
This memorandum reverses the "Mexico City policy," initiated by President Reagan in 1984, reversed by President Clinton and then reinstated by President George W. Bush in 2001.
The group Population Action International praised Obama's move, saying in a statement that it will "save women's lives around the world. Family planning should not be a political issue; it's about basic health care and well-being for women and children. Women's health has been severely impacted by the cutoff of assistance. President Obama's actions will help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies, abortions and women dying from high-risk pregnancies because they don't have access to family planning."
Barack Obama Photo Courtesy of RH Reality Check