I think that most of us were hoping for this already, but like Jessica I just really want to give the fact that Barack Obama is expected to swiftly overturn the Global Gag Rule its own post.
The new president is also expected to lift a so-called global gag rule barring international family planning groups that receive U.S. aid from counseling women about the availability of abortion, even in countries where the procedure is legal, said Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. When Bill Clinton took office in 1993, he rescinded the Reagan-era regulation, known as the Mexico City policy, but Bush reimposed it.
“We have been communicating with his transition staff” almost daily, Richards said. “We expect to see a real change.”
The Global Gag Rule literally kills thousands and thousands of women every year by putting already over-stretched clinics in an impossible position. They must generally choose between either having no money to provide life-saving care, or providing care while breaking doctor-patient trust and actively doing harm by deceit. What the hell do you choose?
Different organizations have different answers, but the fact is that it shouldn’t be a question. Doctors should be able to answer their patients’ inquiries honestly. Abortion should be treated as the routine and sometimes life-saving medical procedure that it is. And women deserve quality reproductive health care, whatever their needs. No woman should die because “pro-life” organizations on another continent have a superiority complex and think their tax dollars should only go to providing care for women they deem worthy enough.
Repealing the Global Gag Rule is only a start, but it’s a huge first step towards a real culture of life — one that respects and cares for the lives of women. And it’s absolutely at the very top of my list of things President Obama can do quickly and decisvely to make the world a better place within his first hours in the Oval Office. If he intends to live up to his campaign promises to protect women’s health and show the world that we’re more than a bunch of self-absorbed ideological assholes, he absolutely must do it. And I eagerly look forward to the moment when he does, because it will not come a moment too soon.
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