Senate Votes to Repeal Global Gag Rule

Yesterday the Senate voted 53–41 to overturn the Global Gag Rule. Also known as the Mexico City policy, the Global Gag Rule prohibits international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that receive U.S. government funds from using their own private funds to perform or provide abortions, lobby their own government for a change in abortion laws, conduct public education campaigns about abortion, refer women to safe abortion providers, or even provide medically accurate counseling about abortion to their clients.

Just before the vote, the White House budget office warned that if Congress sent the President a measure that “weakens current federal policies and laws on abortion, he would veto the bill.” The Senate vote was short of the two-thirds majority needed to override a Presidential veto.

President Reagan instituted the Global Gag Rule in 1984. President Clinton rescinded the policy, but President Bush re-imposed this punitive policy on his first business day in office in 2001.

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