UPDATE! House International Relations Committee Approves Bill to Reverse Global Gag Rule

In a bi-partisan 26 Ð 22 vote, the International Relations Committee approved a bill introduced by Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) that would effectively overturn President Bush’s reinstatement of the Mexico City Policy or “Global Gag Rule,” that prohibits recipients of U.S. international family planning assistance from counseling women on abortion or engaging in political speech on abortion. Republican Congressmen Benjamin Gilman (R-NY), Amo Houghton (R-NY) and Jim Leach (R- IA) joined committee democrats in support of overturning the “Gag Rule.” Rep. Lee’s bill included two provisions: Foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) cannot be denied funding based on the medical services they provide, including counseling and referral services. Foreign NGOs, as a condition of eligibility for U.S. development assistance need not sacrifice their right to use their own funds to engage in free speech and assembly activities any more than U.S. based groups are asked to do. The bill must come to a vote before the entire House, as well as the full Senate, before becoming law.

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


Associated Press Ð May 2, 2001

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