In a move that wasn’t unexpected, Barack Obama lifted a ban on giving federal funds to international groups that perform abortions and provide abortion information, known in some circles as the Mexico City policy. In contrast to his high-profile announcement of the plan to close the Guantanamo Bay terrorist camp, this order was done quietly. As one person put it, Obama is friend of the terrorist, not the terrorized. Here is the report from the Associated Press:
The Bush policy had banned U.S. taxpayer money, usually in the form of Agency for International Development funds, from going to international family planning groups that either offer abortions or provide information, counseling or referrals about abortion as a family planning method.
Critics have long held that the rule unfairly discriminates against the world’s poor by denying U.S. aid to groups that may be involved in abortion but also work on other aspects of reproductive health care and HIV/AIDS, leading to the closure of free and low-cost rural clinics.
Supporters of the ban say that the United States still provides millions of dollars in family planning assistance around the world and that the rule prevents anti-abortion taxpayers from backing something they believe is morally wrong.
The story also said that the new president plans on adding funds in the next federal budget for the UN Population Fund. So, as Obama has made clear, he respects those who disagree with him on abortion but that apparently means he doesn’t bother to listen to them.