On Friday, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a foreign aid spending bill that includes an amendment reversing the Global Gag Rule. The “Global Gag Rule,” reinstated by President Bush last January, prohibits U.S. funding of overseas family planning programs that use their own money to provide abortions or abortion counseling. The amendment was sponsored by pro-choice Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Barbara Mulkuski (D-MD).
On Wednesday, the House voted on the FY 2002 Treasury-Postal appropriations bill, which includes an amendment sponsored by Representative Nita Lowey (D.-N.Y.) that will require all prescription health plans in the Federal Employees Health Benefits program to offer federal workers contraceptive coverage. Bush moved to eliminate this requirement when he presented his recent budget plans, but the administration now says that they will “no longer object to the wording adopted by the House.”