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January 19th, 2009
03:31 PM ET

Obama considers reversing Bush-era abortion policy

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Suzanne Malveaux
CNN White House Correspondent

President-elect Barack Obama is considering issuing an executive order to reverse a controversial bush administration abortion policy in his first week in office, three Democratic sources say.

Thursday-Barack Obama's second full day as president falls on the the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade-the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion in the U.S.

Sources say Obama may use the occasion to reverse the "Mexico City Policy" reinstated by President Bush in 2001.

The policy prohibits U.S. money from going to international family planning groups that promote or provide information, counseling, or referrals about abortion services. It bans any organization receiving U.S. family planning funds from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) from offering abortions or abortion counseling.

"The Mexico City policy"-–commonly referred to by critics as "the global gag rule"- was first devised by President Ronald Reagan in 1984. The policy was initially announced and named at a population conference which took place in Mexico City.

The ban was lifted by President Bill Clinton in January 1993 as one of his first acts as president.

President George W. Bush reinstated the so-called gag rule as his first executive order on January 22, 2001-the 28th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

At the time critics, including planned parenthood called the move a "legislative ambush."

Mr. Bush defended his action, saying at the time "it is my conviction that taxpayer funds should not be used to pay for abortion or actively promote abortion."


Filed under: Barack Obama • Raw Politics • Suzanne Malveaux
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. earle,florida

    So many other issues that need attention. Why do we stir the pot ,when the stew hasn't begun to cook,...or is it some new Kool-Aid Drink?

    January 19, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  2. xtina, chicago IL

    It shouldn't be a surprise that a person who said having a baby is a "punishment" would favor abortion on demand.

    January 19, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  3. Tammy, Berwick, LA

    Gee, that didn't take long. Those of us who believe in the sanctity of all life knew this would happen when Obama took the oath of office. Welcome to greater senseless killing of the unborn at the hands of our future president. I feel so safe with a man in office who can't even protect the most innocent of lives.

    January 19, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  4. Laura

    Mr. Bush defended his action, saying at the time “it is my conviction that taxpayer funds should not be used to pay for abortion or actively promote abortion.”

    Oh ok, but it's ok for taxpayer funds to be used for welfare and support children that aren't that of the taxpayer. Children that abortions could have prevented.

    stupid morons.

    January 19, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  5. Doris

    Abortion is a "CHOICE" medical procedure. It is not used to cure a life threatening illness like cancer. Abortion is not a federal necessity for the success of our country. Spend the money on helping needy get medical prescriptions – here in our country.

    January 19, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  6. Gene Penszynski from Vermont

    Hoorah !!!!!!!! Finally the beginning of the end of Christian Fundamentalism in government !!!!!!!

    Could Mr. Obama's election be a message from their God that Chrisitan Fundamentalists are wrong in their beliefs ?????? God should be angry with them for the harm they have done the world.

    I just can't see how any just God would hold G W Bush in high esteem. The man is a habitual LIAR. He has authorized teh Murder and Torture of innocent Human Beings. He has been a strong advocate of unfettered GREED and MATERIALISM. If this man is even close to being a Christian then bin Laden ia a devout practicing Cathloic ...... LOL.!!!!!!

    January 19, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  7. Cindy

    Well if Obama reverses the "Mexico City Policy" then he will definitely be starting his administration off on the wrong foot if he is trying to get both parties to come together!

    Cindy...Ga.

    January 19, 2009 at 3:38 pm |