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Presidential Memorandum To Skirt Senate Opposition to Global Gag Rule

With one presidential memorandum, President Bush will attempt to ensure the reinstitution of the Global Gag rule that will prohibit family planning programs in the developing world that provide abortion information or abortion counseling from receiving U.S. funding, even if abortion information and counseling are paid for by the groups’ or the countries’ own money. On March 22, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) announced that they and five Senate Republicans would challenge Bush’s executive order to reinstate the Global Gag ruleÑan order he gave on January 22. The senators announced they would utilize the 1996 Congressional Review Act, which allows the House and Senate to pass legislation that overturns regulations issued by federal departments and agencies. By issuing a presidential memorandum, Bush hopes to avoid exposing his anti-woman policy to a vote by the Senate. Sen. Boxer hopes to find a loophole in Bush’s memorandum strategy. “No matter how he executes his policy, it doesn’t change the fact that the denying of family-planning assistance will lead to an increase in the number of deaths due to unsafe abortions,” Boxer retorted.

LEARN MORE Click here to read women’s narratives about barriers or successes in accessing reproductive health and family planning services.

Sources:

United States Agency for International Development website; Sen. Boxer Press Release Ð March 20, 2001; Sen. Reid Press Release Ð March 20, 2001; Washington Post Ð March 24, 2001; Los Angeles Times Ð March 24, 2001

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