President Obama Eliminates Major Obstacle to Women's Health
Posted on: Friday, January 23, 2009
Keywords: Women's Health
Today, with President Obama's signature of an executive order to repeal the Mexico City Policy, also known as the Global Gag Rule, a major global barrier to access to crucial women's health services is to be removed. MADRE applauds President Obama's decision to end the controversial and harmful policy, which has jeopardized the health of women worldwide.
Under the Global Gag Rule, no US funds were to be directed to any foreign healthcare organization that provides abortion services or advocates for the legalization of abortion, even if those activities are funded by non-US money.
The Global Gag Rule, first imposed by President Reagan, was undone by President Clinton before being reinstituted by President Bush. MADRE recalls that whenever the Gag Rule has been in force, it has endangered the lives of women and has undermined reproductive health services worldwide.
Rhonda Copelon, member of the MADRE Network of Experts, said today, "The Global Gag Rule is an example of a policy that is inconsistent with values that we hold to be fundamental in the United States: the right to advocate for legal change and the right to abortion recognized by Roe v. Wade 36 years ago. It is thus precisely the kind of international policy that President Obama has promised to eliminate."
More than 95% of abortions in Africa and Latin America are performed under unsafe circumstances. The criminalization of abortion remains one of the leading causes of pregnancy-related death around the world, taking the lives nearly 70,000 women per year.
Available for comment:
Rhonda Copelon is an expert in reproductive rights and health as a result of work in the US and in the international arena as a professor of law and the co-director of the International Women's Human Rights Law Clinic at the City University of New York Law School and, previously, as a staff lawyer at the Center for Constitutional Rights. She has co-authored a legal text and published numerous in the field of reproductive and sexual rights and international women's human rights.
Yifat Susskind, MADRE's Communications Director, worked for several years as part of a joint Israeli-Palestinian human rights organization in Jerusalem before joining MADRE. She has written extensively on US foreign policy and women's human rights. Her critical analysis has appeared in online and print publications such as TomPaine.com, Foreign Policy in Focus, and The W Effect: Bush's War on Women, published by the Feminist Press in 2004. Ms. Susskind has been featured as a commentator on CNN, National Public Radio, and BBC Radio.
Archives"Press Room" Home April 2014 March 2014 February 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 August 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 April 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 November 2012 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 March 2012 February 2012 January 2012 December 2011 November 2011 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 July 2011 June 2011 May 2011 April 2011 March 2011 February 2011 January 2011 December 2010 November 2010 October 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 June 2010 May 2010 April 2010 March 2010 February 2010 January 2010 December 2009 November 2009 October 2009 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 April 2009 March 2009 February 2009 January 2009 December 2008 November 2008 October 2008 September 2008 August 2008 July 2008 June 2008 May 2008 April 2008 March 2008 February 2008 January 2008 December 2007 November 2007 October 2007 September 2007 August 2007 June 2007 May 2007 April 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2007 December 2006 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 July 2006 June 2006 April 2006 March 2006 January 2006 December 2005 November 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 April 2005 March 2005 November 2004 October 2004 April 2004 March 2004 January 2004 December 2003 October 2003 September 2003 June 2003 April 2003 January 2003 September 2002 June 2002 January 2002 November 2001 October 2001 September 2001 August 2001 January 2001
Kat Noel, Website & Media Coordinator
PHONE: +1 212 627 0444
MADRE & Our Partners Make News
The Right to Heal: 11 Years After Iraq Invasion, U.S. Urged on Reparations for War's Enduring Wounds (Democracy Now!, March 26, 2014)
Protests Call Iraq's New Family Law 'Legalization of Pedophilia' (Rudaw, March 10, 2014)
Haiti: the neoliberal model imposed on the country is failing its citizens (The Guardian, February 5, 2014)
Human rights group slams Iraq over treatment of women in prison (Miami Herald, February 2, 2014)
New Ways to Evaluate Impact (Stanford Social Innovation Review, January 24, 2014)