Our View-Repeal of Global Gag Rule gives women renewed voice

When Barack Obama took over as president, it represented a change in America of enormous magnitude. The people in this country are hopeful that Obama will improve healthcare, better the economy and fix the current education system.

What’s even more impressive is that Obama has extended his hand to the rest of the world, hoping to improve relations with countries that George W. Bush so thoughtlessly turned his back on.

Obama recently ended the Mexico City Policy, otherwise known as the “Global Gag Rule,” which banned funding for family planning groups overseas that didn’t adhere to a U.S. directive to ban abortion.

Obama, who has long supported a woman’s right to choose and advocates sexual health education, lifted the controversial on-again, off-again Reagan-era policy.

The language of the gag rule was that countries getting family planning money from the U.S. would “neither perform nor actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations.” This meant that even private citizens in underdeveloped nations could not openly discuss abortion, or the entire country would be cut off, hence the title “gag.”

Ronald Reagan instituted the Mexico City Policy in 1984, Bill Clinton lifted it in 1993 and Bush reinstated it in 2001. Are we detecting a pattern here?

According to the United Nations Populations Fund, more than 200 million women lack access to safe and effective contraception. Most victims are in developing countries that lack sexual health education and proper medical facilities. The UNPF also reports that some 74,000 women die each year from unsafe abortions.

This is unacceptable. Regardless of religious beliefs, no one should die as a result of substandard healthcare.

Supporters of the ban believe it advocates abortion and sexual promiscuity. If history has taught us nothing else, it’s that all living things will likely have sex. This includes young people, old people, gay people, straight people, cool people and weird people.

We must educate and protect sexually active people to reduce unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. In fact, removing the gag will reduce unsafe sex and dangerous abortions. By providing quality health programs to countries that lack funding, healthy sexual behavior can be properly taught and addressed.

Unwanted pregnancies are often a result of rape and incest in struggling and war-torn regions. Forcing women to have babies because they have no viable alternative creates the legacy of poverty that keeps women and children in perpetual bondage.

Last Thursday, Obama addressed the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade by saying, “While this is a sensitive and often divisive issue, no matter what our views, we are united in our determination to prevent unintended pregnancies.” The fight that we faced for women’s reproductive rights in 1973 needs to be fought on a global scale.

What the religious right and conservative Republicans don’t get is that opponents of the Mexico City Policy want to address sexual issues in a realistic, humanitarian and responsible way.

It’s callous to demand that people in other countries keep their mouths shut on matters that directly impact their existence based on a foreign ideological agenda. Let’s deal with this complex issue in a constructive manner.

Trying to end sexual activity outside of marriage is about as realistic as believing in the Tooth Fairy.

In December 2008, the Cal State Long Beach Feminist Organization Reclaiming Consciousness and Equality (F.O.R.C.E) staged a campus “die-in.” Participants were dressed in all black, sprawled about the lawn in front of the Speaker’s Platform like corpses in protest of the multitude of deaths that resulted from the hegemonic Global Gag Rule.

This shows how passionate the younger generation is about this issue. They are proactively embracing to the leadership of a man who won’t stand around and watch as the world’s women and children suffer needlessly. Neither should we.


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    Religion has no purpose in a 21st Century secular government. The people voted for unborn genocide, so let’s bring it on. I don’t care about abortion, it’s just another “culture wars” issue that brings us closer to civil war.

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    So even if human life begins at conception it’s still alright to murder the unborn because your girlfriend is having an abortion scare? Thanks for illustrating my point on how liberals embrace abortion because they selfishly care about themselves rather than the unborn child they’re murdering.

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    I don’t have anything against abortion funding. I’m just tired of giving away money to foreign countries ( I’m sure these countries apply the funds in exactly the way that they were meant to be applied.) The only positive I can see in this is it will keep the population of possible illegals entering the country down. Also the guy who is comparing abortion to the Holocaust has obviously never had a girlfriend who had a pregnancy scare and is possibly still a virgin.

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    I couldn’t agree with Brian more. I am so tired of hearing all this liberal nonsense, whining, and rationalizing. Get over yourselves already. The act of abortion is not about religion, when life begins, a woman’s right to choose, a woman having control over her body, reproductive health, family planning, or any of the other “smokescreens.” It’s about killing unborn babies. Abortion is typically a selfish act to “erase” a mistake. Period. Believe anything else and you’re in denial.

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    O brother, when will you liberals realize how much of an ass you make of yourselves when you “religiously” lecture people about the need to provide funding for abortions while calling for the religious right to look beyond their religion and support abortion related funding.

    Answer this question and we will soon see if your argument is logical: Are you sure that human life doesn’t begin at conception? If you are then I would like that to be proven. Yet you cannot prove that. Instead, you rely on faulty reasoning that says “well, it’s only a clump of cells that doesn’t resemble a human, so I don’t think it is a human yet.” Basically, you’re hoping that you’re right in your ASSUMPTION, which implies faith and thereby implies a religious belief, that life doesn’t begin until sometime after conception. Why though? Because liberals believe in indulging selfish human interest, even if it comes at the expense of a holocaust of the unborn that would put Hilter to shame.

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