[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/01/23/obama.abortion/art.obama.inspiration.gi.jpg caption="President Obama has decided to overturn a Republican-favored abortion funding policy."]
President, NARAL Pro-Choice America
Well, pro-choice America, after eight long years of an anti-choice administration, we can finally exhale. Just minutes ago, President Obama repealed the global gag rule! Following yesterday’s 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, this victory is that much sweeter.
It’s really starting to sink in that having a pro-choice president goes a long way for women’s health and privacy. We say it all the time, but it bears repeating: Elections matter. Pro-choice Americans worked long and hard to help elect a pro-choice president because we know it is the best way to reverse divisive anti-choice policies that harm women and their families.
We know that former President Bush attacked choice plenty of times as president, but the global gag rule was one of his worst offenses. In the short video below, our policy director, Donna Crane, tells you everything you need to know about the global gag rule in 90 seconds:
This policy forced health clinics around the world to choose between providing women and families with health care they desperately needed and getting financial support from the United States. The policy cut off U.S. funds to health clinics unless the clinics agreed not to use their own, private, non-U.S. funds for abortion services, abortion-related advocacy, or even abortion counseling or referrals.
Need an example of how this has harmed women’s health? The Family Planning Association of Kenya, which does not provide abortion, had to cut its outreach staff in half, close three clinics that served 56,000 clients in traditionally underserved communities, and raise fees at the remaining health centers. One of the clinics that closed housed a unique well-baby center that provided comprehensive infant and post-partum care. That well-baby center is now lost to the community.
President Obama has taken a strong stand in support of family planning, and we really need to thank him for this victory for women’s health.
So, as we look forward, we certainly have reason to celebrate. However, we also have to remain realistic, based on the projected choice composition of the new Congress. We've made significant gains, but there's still work to be done.
For more information, please visit www.ProChoiceAmerica.org so we can change the tone of the debate in Congress, with a focus on common sense measures that will prevent unintended pregnancy and reduce the need for abortion.
For an opposing view by the FRC (Family Research Council) click here.
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