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Sen. Clinton Presses Powell on Gag Rule

Earlier this week, Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) questioned Secretary of State Colin Powell on the global “gag rule,” a policy recently reinstated by President Bush that limits U.S. funding to family planning groups worldwide that counsel abortion. Clinton spoke at the Senate Budget Committee meeting where Powell testified on the State Department Budget, saying “I personally have seen how our assistance for family planning has reduced abortions, reduced maternal mortality.” In issuing his executive order reinstating what has been known as the “Mexico City Policy,” President Bush misleadingly implied that U.S. funds were being withheld from groups that provide abortion. However, as Senator Clinton pointed out, “Éthese groups are in the business of providing information and health services generally.” The global gag rule applies not only to independent family planning groups but to government-run programs as well – programs that often cannot continue at all without U.S. funding.

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

Sources:

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Remarks before the Senate Budget Committee Ð March 14, 2001 and Feminist Majority Foundation