GOP Reinstates Global Gag Rule on Abortion

topic posted Fri, July 29, 2011 - 7:05 AM by  Rocky
GOP Reinstates Global Gag Rule on Abortion

Gag Me: The War on Women Goes Global

"Surely you have heard that the Republican-controlled House of Representatives has voted to reinstate the Global Gag Rule that prevents any family planning agencies that provide information about abortion service from receiving any U.S. foreign aid.

Who gets hurt? Women, children and anyone who believes the conversation about women's issues needs to move forward.

But once again, that conversation has been hijacked by the right-wing strategy to frame deeper issues related to women and families in terms of a women's right to choose. For a refresher, let's look at the vote by Michele Bachmann and others on the right to defund Planned Parenthood -- even though abortions only make up 10 percent of the services it provides to women without other means of health care, and that abortion services receive no federal funding. As we wrote before:

I know of one woman, in fact, whose life may have been saved by Planned Parenthood. She discovered a lump in her breast shortly after losing her work-related health insurance. Where did she turn for a mammogram? Yep, Planned Parenthood, which ultimately shepherded her through the scary process of not only the diagnostics, but ultimately surgery, chemo and radiation.

The Global Gag Rule has been the ball in a decades-long -- and ugly -- game of political ping-pong since Ronald Reagan was in office. Here's a little bit of the backstory, courtesy of the Center for American Progress:

The global gag rule -- first instated by President Ronald Reagan in 1984, rescinded by President Bill Clinton in 1993, re-imposed by President George W. Bush in 2001, and rescinded again by President Barack Obama in 2009 -- prevents U.S. family planning assistance from going to organizations that perform or provide information about or referrals to legal abortion services. What's more, organizations that receive funds cannot use their own money to provide abortion-related information or services, or advocate for liberalized abortion laws. The rule imposes no similar restrictions on advocacy against such laws. When in force, the global gag rule comes on top of the Helms amendment, the 1973 law that prohibits direct U.S. funding of abortions overseas.

Under the global gag rule, these organizations face a choice: either participate in the American right's global campaign to restrict women's rights and access to reproductive health care or lose critical U.S. funding....."


GOP's Foreign Aid Cuts Could Dramatically Increase Unsafe Abortions

"House Republicans' proposed cuts to international family planning programs could result in 1.3 million more unsafe abortions around the world, 9.4 million people without access to contraceptives, 7,700 maternal deaths and more than 35,000 additional orphans, according to a reproductive health research organization.

A Republican-led subcommittee approved a foreign spending bill on Wednesday that cuts family planning funding overseas by $154 million and codifies the Global Gag Rule, which blocks all U.S. money to foreign aid programs that provide or counsel women on abortions. An estimated 21 million unsafe abortions are carried out worldwide annually, and as the Guttmacher Institute points out, restricting access (legal or otherwise) to abortion does not reduce the incidence of abortion, but "does, however, affect the safety of abortion."


Let us not forget this one either -

'The Bush Global Gag Rule: Endangering Women’s Health, Free Speech and Democracy'

* Join the "Planned Parenthood kicks ass!" Tribe

* Join the "Abortion Debate" Tribe

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