Advisers to President-elect Barack Obama have authored a list of 200 Bush administration actions that could quickly be undone to promote change, a Washington Post article reports. Among the policies being considered for quick reversal is the Bush administration’s Global Gag Rule.
Originally authored during the Reagan Administration, the Global Gag Rule prohibits international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that receive U.S. government funds from using their own private funds to provide abortions. The policy also prevents NGOs from lobbying their own government for a change in abortion laws, conducting public education campaigns about abortion, referring women to safe abortion providers, or even providing medically accurate counseling about abortion to their clients. The policy was rescinded by President Clinton in 1993, and then re-implemented by President G.W. Bush on his first day in office in 2001.
In many rural areas worldwide, foreign NGOs are the only healthcare providers. The Global Gag Rule endangers already vulnerable women by further curtailing their access to safe and accurate reproductive health care.