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May-17-01

Progressive Orgs Condemn House Approval of Global Gag Rule

In a narrow 218-210 vote, the House yesterday voted to uphold Bush’s “Global Gag Rule,” which prohibits overseas NGOs that provide abortion information, counseling, or referral from receiving much needed US funds. Civil rights, human rights, and women’s rights organizations have expressed outrage at the policy, which would be an unconstitutional violation of free speech within the United States. American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Director Laura W. Murphy stated, “It is unfortunate that the House has allowed President Bush to export an undemocratic policy he would be prohibited from imposing within the borders of the United States.” Rep. Nita M. Lowey (D-NY) echoed those sentiments, calling the vote “a really tragic day for democracy.” “It’s not about abortion,” Lowey said, “It’s about us imposing on others laws we wouldn’t impose on ourselves.”

Feminist Majority Foundation President Eleanor Smeal stated, “Remember that more than 70,000 girls and women die from botched illegal abortions yearly in developing countries…and we’re preventing medical experts from even debating the issue.” Gloria Feldt, President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America accused the Bush administration of “[attempting] to impose a narrow political debate on other countries.”

More on the vote: http://www.feminist.org/news/newsbyte/uswirestory.asp?id=5519

Media Resources: Washington Post, Kaiser Daily Health Report, ACLU Press Release, Feminist Majority

   

     

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