Elections Have Consequences, Global Health and Family Planning Edition

| Fri Jan. 23, 2009 8:57 AM PST

A good week continues:

President Barack Obama on Friday will lift restrictions on U.S. government funding for groups that provide abortion services or counseling 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...
When the ban was in place, no U.S. government funding for family planning services could be given to clinics or groups that offer abortion services or counseling in other countries even if the funds for those activities come from non-U.S. government sources.

Excellent public health groups working in the world's neediest countries were denied funding under the Bush Administration because they handed out condoms or provided family planning counseling. It was an example of rigid conservative ideology trumping simple pragmatism. And it's a thing of the past. (For 4-8 years, at least.)

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