Obama Revokes Global Gag Rule

On his third day in office, Pres. Obama has revoked the global gag rule, which was first implemented by Ronald Reagan and then was reversed by Pres. Clinton and subsequently reinstated by Bush 43.

The global gag rule — also known as the “Mexico City policy” because Reagan put it into force at a 1984 family planning conference in that city — makes U.S. aid to international family planning agencies and clinics contingent upon not providing abortions, or referring a woman to doctors and facilities that provide abortions, or even mentioning or discussing abortion when counseling a woman about her health care or her medical treatment. Even in countries where abortion is legal, women’s health care facilities are forbidden to provide or discuss the procedure, on pain of losing all of their USAID money — which in many cases is what’s keeping their doors open.

Pres. Obama was expected to take this action, so it’s not a surprise — but it is still very, very, very good news.

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