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When a Global Gag Rule’s not Enough, Bring it on Home

May 7, 2008

If you’re not familiar with the “Global Gag Rule” (or “Mexico City Policy”), it’s a rule that the U.S. will not provide any family planning funds to organizations that (use their own money to) provide abortions, make referrals for abortion, or lobby to make abortion legal in their own country – see and this section from the International Women’s Health Coalition for further background.

Now, “nearly 80 conservative groups” have signed on to a letter asking Bush to revise a “Domestic Family Planning Gag Rule,” which would essentially create Global Gag Rule for the United States, preventing organizations that provide family planning services (such as Planned Parenthood) from receiving Title X funds if they also provide abortions or abortion referrals.

As explained in The Hill: “Former President Ronald Reagan first issued regulations more than 20 years ago that prohibited family planning organizations from providing advice to help women obtain abortions. The Reagan-era regulations were upheld by the Supreme Court, but were then rescinded soon after former President Bill Clinton took office in 1993.”

“Conservative leaders say they are perplexed why Bush has not reversed Clinton’s decision during more than eight years in office.They say that Bush could re-implement the regulations though a simple order that would go into effect after a brief public comment period.”

The National Abortion Federation notes that under the old policy governing Title X family planning funds, “These revised regulations implemented the ‘gag rule’ which prohibited the discussion of abortion as a family planning option. Although never actually enforced nationwide, the ‘gag rule’ also prohibited referrals to abortion providers and required a physical and financial separation of abortion-related activities from Title X activities.”

The “conservative groups” are also trying to drum up support for the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act (HR 4133), which would “amend title X of the Public Health Service Act to prohibit family planning grants from being awarded to any entity that performs abortions.”

[Hat tip to the National Partnership for Women & Families]

6 Comments leave one →
  1. May 7, 2008 6:17 pm

    Note: copy/pasting anti-choice (or any) propaganda is not considered a compelling argument (it’s not an argument at all), and will be deleted as spam. If your propaganda relies on some absurd “appeal to emotion” vision of an in utero fetus thinking logically in complete sentences about the external environment, well, there should be a double-delete for you.

  2. davisoftheapes1 permalink
    May 7, 2008 7:04 pm

    So, by that, can I assume that you didn’t like it?

  3. davisoftheapes1 permalink
    May 7, 2008 7:16 pm

    You know, Rachel, the baby in the womb is a woman too. Is she not of any importance at all?

  4. May 8, 2008 6:37 am

    Davisoftheapes1, perhaps you didn’t understand. Let’s try another example – if you write a piece on why you are opposed to torture, or the death penalty, or anything else our country sometimes does, and I respond by simply copy/pasting the Pledge of Allegiance, that may give you an idea that in general I support whatever the U.S. does. In no way does it refute your piece or even offer a legitimate grown-up argument for why I disagree with you. As such, it would be a waste of time and bandwidth, and generally useless, except for those people who think rah-rah soundbites constitute real discussion.

    As for your second comment, you’re getting closer, and I’ll simply refer you to something I’ve already written (since I assume as a drive-by commenter you’re not reading the archives):

    “I believe that there is an inescapable ethical and legal conflict inherent in any situation in which one being depends solely on the body and resources of another being for its existence, and this conflict is never more pronounced than when a fetus inhabits a woman’s body. To codify this conflict such that one party always necessarily wins seems to me a poor solution, whether the fully grown woman must always carry a pregnancy to term or a pregnant woman must always have an abortion. I vote pro-choice because I believe this conflict cannot be resolved in extremes, and is best resolved on an individual level rather than by a faceless, unaccountable government.”


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