REP. MALONEY HAILS PRESIDENT OBAMA’S DECISION TO REPEAL THE GLOBAL GAG RULE
WASHINGTON, DC—Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) issued this statement upon
President Obama’s announcement today to repeal the “global gag rule.”
Obama, in his first days, is well on his way to reversing 8 years of
misguided policy,” Rep. Maloney said. “In repealing the global gag
rule, President Obama has stopped the export of our divisive politics
and renewed the export of our rights and values of free speech and
expression. I proudly stand with him and will work within Congress to
increase funding for family planning services abroad so that women’s
lives may be treated with the respect they deserve-- and help achieve
our overall foreign policy goals of increasing democracy abroad,”
The gag rule ordered by President Bush bars both foreign non-governmental and multilateral organizations from receiving U.S. family planning funds if - with other, non-U.S. funds - they provide legal abortion services or “engage in any activity or effort to alter the laws or governmental policies of any foreign country concerning the circumstances under which abortion is permitted, regulated, or prohibited.” That is, these groups are denied freedom of speech to lobby on either side of abortion laws – even if it is only done with non-U.S. funds.
Such a rule would be deemed unconstitutional in the United States.For many poor women abroad, family planning clinics offer the only general health care available. If funds are lost or capped to clinics as part of the gag rule, women could lose this basic care, as well as access to family planning.The Gag Rule is also often referred to as “Mexico City Language.”
The policy gained the nickname “Mexico City” after Reagan announced an executive order restricting US family planning funds during an August, 1984, U.N. conference there.