global gag rule

Another BUSH war

The obvious isn’t enough, apparently – two wars. One in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. Years ago, George W. Bush authorized a third war – a war against women. It’s apparent he will fight this war until his last – and too far away – day in office.

Mark 1 – Reinstatement of the Global Gag Rule which is a policy prohibiting “the distribution of foreign aid to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working overseas which offer abortions and abortion counseling, or lobby to make abortion legal and more accessible.” (thanks to WiseGeek for this precise definition)

Mark 2 – stacking the supreme court with judges whose ideology match that of the far right, with one of those judges having supported a proposal in Pennsylvania that required women seeking abortions to have consent from their husbands first.

Mark 3 – though I’m sure there are hundreds of marks additional to what I’ve indicated here, I have to skip to this as it’s the latest and one I HOPE will be overturned. I fear, however, without instant reaction from those opposing this, it will fall by the wayside while “more important” issues are addressed. Months ago, Bush forwarded a memo to the US Department Health and Human Services. This memo indicated that “abortion” would be defined as “any of the various procedures — including the prescription, dispensing and administration of any drug or the performance of any procedure or any other action — that results in the termination of the life of a human being in utero between conception and natural birth, whether before or after implantation.” The memo also clearly indicated that no organization could refuse a job to someone due to their opposition to pre-marital sex, contraception or abortion. It also reinforced the rule that is already on the books saying a practitioner cannot be forced to inform a patient of her options regarding pregnancy. You can read the entire article about the memo here.

And so, now that ruling has taken effect which means, as Planned Parenthood clearly explains – “President Bush’s rule limiting the rights of patients to receive complete and accurate reproductive health information when they visit a federally funded health care provider was made official. Now, anti-choice medical staff can withhold information about abortion, birth control, and sex education from their patients. Facilities that receive family planning funding, like Planned Parenthood, will have to certify that they will not refuse to hire nurses and other providers who object to abortion and even certain types of birth control. For example, a doctor who opposes pre-marital sex could refuse to provide a prescription or even information about emergency contraception to an unmarried woman.”

And so now it’s up to us. We – those who have a vested interest in preserving the rights of women and choice – have to make our voices heard. President-elect Obama has already stated that he will overturn many of the changes this past president has put into effect. We can only hope this change will be one of the many. With help, it just might be. 

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