Most of my readers are in California, so I figure this is important to share. On September 17th I received an email from Senator Boxer (she has a pretty well done mailing list–try it out!) Here is the text:
The Global Gag Rule has stood in the way of effective family planning services since the first day of President George W. Bush’s administration. I am pleased to let you know that the Senate recently took a significant step in overturning this ill-advised policy.
The Global Gag Rule denies U.S. international family planning assistance to any organization that uses its own private funds to counsel women on the availability of abortion, provide abortion services, or advocate for changes in abortion laws.
Earlier this month, Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and I offered an amendment to the State-Foreign Operations Appropriations bill (H.R.2764) that would effectively end the Global Gag Rule by eliminating limitations placed on international family planning groups. Our amendment passed by a 53-41 vote, and H.R.2764 went on to pass the Senate by an overwhelming bipartisan majority.
Unfortunately, President Bush has threatened to veto any bill that would weaken this dangerous gag rule, which keeps thousands of women at risk. I sincerely hope he will rethink this threat. The Global Gag Rule a disgraceful policy for this country, and its repeal is long overdue. Additionally, H.R.2764 is an important appropriations bill containing vital funds for many international programs. It would be a mistake for the President to veto it.
Regardless of the President’s threat, I will continue working as hard as I can to ensure that the Global Gag Rule is finally overturned. I will also keep fighting to protect the right of all women to have access to safe family planning services.
United States Senator
And as an update, see this article.
I have always been embarrassed to be Represented by a President who instituted a censoring and withholding of information from aid agencies *on his first day in office*. I’m sure you know the statistics on the Gag rule’s effects on US family planning units but that’s all covered news. What I wanted to talk about is the personal feeling of relief when an agenda I agree with is pushed by my Representatives. I am anti-abortion but pro-choice. But I am also trying to be open to pro-life arguments because I realized, through no fault of my family, that I was speaking pro-choice rhetoric before I knew what it really meant. I was shocked to realize I hadn’t really examined my views. And so I have been, for about a year now. I read pro-life websites and try to understand other ways to deal with our society’s problems. It is an exercise in viewing the world from other people’s eyes. I hope you see something new today!
“No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the love of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other’s worth.” Robert Southey