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Bush Imposes Gag Rule Essay

517 words - 3 pages

On January 25, 2001, on his first business day in office (and the 28th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision establishing a woman's right to an abortion), President George W. Bush stupidly re-imposed the Global Gag Rule on the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) population program. This policy restricts foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that receive USAID family planning funds from using their own, non-U.S. funds to provide legal abortion services, lobby their own governments for abortion law reform, or even provide accurate medical counseling or referrals regarding abortion. See what damage he is doing! The 1973 Helms Amendment is a legislative provision that already restricts ...view middle of the document...

" According to this policy, foreign organizations--often the only health care providers in remote, rural areas--are prohibited from using their own, non-U.S. funds for:* providing legal abortions even, can you believe, where a woman's physical or mental health is endangered (the only exceptions are in cases of rape, incest, or where the woman's life is endangered);* providing advice and information regarding the availability and benefits of abortion and from providing referrals to another health clinic;* lobbying their own governments to legalize abortion, to maintain current law and oppose restrictions, or to decriminalize abortion; and* conducting public education campaigns regarding abortion.In addition, even the provision of services that are "permitted"1 on paper, such as life-saving abortions and post-abortion care, are often curtailed because NGOs fear jeopardizing their funding through any association with abortion - what cowardice!! Providers may even be reluctant to dispense emergency contraception--which acts to prevent pregnancy and is not an abortifacient (despite the lies you may hear from the antichoice groups and the Catholic Church --because of the Global Gag Rule.Through the Global Gag Rule, the U.S. government not only stifles free speech, an historic American right, but affirmatively discriminates against a particular viewpoint that it does not like, setting a most dangerous precedent that is sure to be repeatedly challenged in courts throughout our great, democratic country. The Global Gag Rule very unfortunately forces health care organizations to make an immoral choice: either give up desperately needed funds for terminatiing unborn babies, or give up their right to free speech and to provide patients with full services.

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