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Boxer’s Bill Rejects Global Gag Rule

The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 12-7 Wednesday to reverse President Bush’s global gag rule, which bans foreign aid to groups that provide or promote family planning services. The “Global Democracy Promotion Act of 2001” (S 367), proposed by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), states that “foreign non-governmental organizations “shall not be ineligible for such assistance solely on the basis of health or medical servicesÉ if such services do not violate the laws of the country in which they are being provided.” In addition, these groups “shall not be the subject to requirements relating to the use of non-United States Government funds for advocacy and lobbying activities” other than those applied to US non-governmental organizations that receive assistance. The measure shows the “growing opposition to this president’s radical views on family planningÉthey need to be highlighted,” said Boxer. The Senate is expected to pass Boxer’s bill this fall, but it is unlikely to become law because Bush has vowed to veto the measure. The Republican-controlled House has also demonstrated opposition to similar legislation. The bill would overturn Reagan’s 1984 “Mexico City” policy, which was enacted after an international gathering in Mexico City and rescinded by President Clinton 8 years later. President Bush reinstated the policy on his third day in office, coinciding with the 28-year anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the US Supreme Court’s ruling that legalized abortion. LEARN MORE Click here to read women’s narratives about barriers or successes in accessing reproductive health and family planning services.

Sources:

The San Francisco Chronicle www.sfgate.com/chronicle, Kaiser Family Foundation www.kff.org

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