Friday, January 23, 2009

Statement by Population Connection on the Elimination of the Global Gag Rule

By Brian Dixon

The President's decision today offers new hope to hundreds of millions of women and families around the world. As of today, the United States government will be able to provide funding to some of the most experienced and effective family planning providers in the developing world—many of which had been disqualified from receiving assistance under the Global Gag Rule.

This action is a critical step in restoring America's image around the world as a leader in reproductive health and family planning. It offers desperately needed aid to families that are struggling to address their most basic needs. And it will help the world address the ongoing challenges of population growth.

The elimination of the Global Gag Rule alone will not solve the problems associated with a rapidly growing population: resource insecurity, social instability, and maternal and child death. To confront these and other problems, the United States must commit to a return to real investment in international family planning. We strongly urge President Obama to take that next step by calling for a significant funding increase in the budget he presents to Congress in the coming weeks and by renewing American assistance to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).