President Obama to Overturn Ban on Funding International Family Planning Groups That Provide Abortion

Jan 23, 2009 7:40am

ABC News has learned that later today President Obama will sign an executive order overturning the "Mexico City policy," which prohibits nongovernmental organizations that receive international family planning assistance through the U.S. Agency for International Development from providing or actively promoting abortion as a method of family planning in other countries.

The policy — called the "Global Gag rule" by supporters of abortion rights — was first instituted by President Reagan in 1984, was overturned by President Clinton in 1993, and was reinstituted by President Bush  in 2001.

Past presidents have instituted or revoked the ban on Jan. 22, the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, but President Obama held off on that move, thinking it too combative.

- jpt

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