Friday, January 23, 2009

Immediate Change - Rescinding the Global Gag Rule

I am still gathering my thoughts on the inauguration of President Barack Obama (I love saying that!), but I wanted to post this news item right away. According to Reuters:

U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday will lift restrictions on U.S. government funding for groups that provide abortion services or counselling abroad, reversing a policy of his Republican predecessor George W. Bush, an administration official said. "It will be today. He's going to make an executive order (lifting the global gag rule)," the official said.

The so-called global gag rule policy, started by Ronald Reagan, is disgusting. It uses a wedge issue to basically restrict and limit health care for poor women around the world on the chance that some minute percentage of U.S. government funds will be used to even advise women about abortion. How much harm is done? And how galling that this can be done when abortion is legal in this country?

Here at home, there was an article in the USA Today last month that profiled two women who have worked in an impoverished Appalachian area for years, promoting education and trying to better the lives of women and the entire area. The key was introducing birth control so that these women could work and bring in more income. As the article states:

Looking back, Kemner and Gall say it was birth control, as much as anything, that changed the fate of Stinking Creek. The daughters of women who had 14 or 15 children in the 1950s and 1960s grew up and had three or four. Their daughters and granddaughters now have one or two, or none.

If we really want to reduce poverty and improve lives around the world, we cannot let religious views overshadow medical care and family planning.

1 comment:

Laurie said...

Amen sister! Though the socioeconomic situation of the women in Revolutionary Road was completely different than the women you talk about in Stinking Creek, all I could say after watching that movie was thank goodness for birth control and the women's movement! How different our lives would be. And, how much better others lives could be if they were knowledgeable about such things!