Saturday, January 24, 2009
New York Times: Obama Reverses Rules on U.S. Abortion Aid, by Peter Baker:
WASHINGTON — President Obama repealed rules on Friday that restricted federal money for international organizations that promote or provide abortions overseas, sweeping aside a pillar of the social policy architecture of George W. Bush’s presidency.
The executive order that Mr. Obama signed reverses one of the first measures enacted by Mr. Bush when he took over the White House eight years ago and capped an opening-week flurry of action intended to signal a sharp break from the past in domestic and foreign arenas.
“For the past eight years, they have undermined efforts to promote safe and effective voluntary family planning in developing countries,” Mr. Obama said of the restrictions. “For these reasons, it is right for us to rescind this policy and restore critical efforts to protect and empower women and promote global economic development.”
In a written statement, Mr. Obama said he would work with Congress to restore financial support for the United Nations Population Fund. But he bemoaned the “politicization” of abortion and promised to reach out to all sides to initiate a new dialogue about reducing unintended pregnancies.