Sunday, January 25, 2009

Obama Turfs Out Gag rule

Great news from the White House. Within days of taking office, President Obama repealed the Global Gag Rule, also known as the Mexico City policy— named for the city in which the Reagan Administration first announced it at the 1984 United Nations International Conference on Population.

This rule prohibited foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from receiving U.S. funds if they provided abortions or even lobbied for abortion rights in their own countries. It went further and even denied foreign aid to NGOs who helped provide contraceptives and other much-needed family-planning services. At least 16 developing nations in Africa, Asia and the Middle East have been affected.

Thank goodness for the new broom sweeping out old dirt. The Gag Rule flew in the face of logic and reason. Instead of helping developing nations, where over 90% of future global population growth will take place, it made poor nations poorer, increased the stress on global resources such as food, water and oil, ratcheted up enmity toward the United States and fostered terrorism.

Well done President Obama!

1 comment: said...

Somehow, we have got to keep talking about the colossal, human-induced problems the "Global Gag Rule" was designed and implemented to hide. It is not possible for me even to imagine a way real challenges to human wellbeing and environmental health can be addressed and overcome if people are effectively "gagged" and otherwise dissuaded from speaking openly about such potentially calamitous events as the human overpopulation of Earth in these early years of Century XXI. It is not a good idea to timidly yield to widely shared and consensually validated appeals from the promulgators of gag rules and other devices designed to silence people, deny what could somehow be real, and conceal the truth.

The socially agreeable inclination of many too many leaders in our time to discuss only those selected issues that meet standards of political correctness, economic expediency and religious dogma is behavior I would go so far as to label pernicious.

Silence has to be replaced by speech; scientific evidence needs to replace ideological factoids; moral courage needs to show itself more powerfully than cowardly conformity; and intellectual honesty needs to be substituted for selfish thought, judgment and action.