Obama, Family Planning, and Foreign Aid

I continue to applaud enthusiastically through the early days of the Obama presidency.

So far, Obama is what many of us expected him to be, and more. He’s closing Gitmo and banning torture, for example, and yesterday he reversed another of Bush’s more egregious policies, one especially harmful to women:

President Obama struck down a rule Friday that prohibits U.S. money from funding international family-planning clinics that promote abortion or provide counseling or referrals about abortion services.

Obama said in a statement that family planning aid has been used as a “political wedge issue,” adding that he had “no desire to continue this stale and fruitless debate.”

The policy says any organization receiving U.S. family-planning funds from the U.S. Agency for International Development cannot offer abortions or abortion counseling.

“It is time we end the politicization of this issue,” Obama said. “In the coming weeks, my administration will initiate a fresh conversation on family planning, working to find areas of common ground to best meet the needs of women and families at home and around the world.”

How nice it is that the theocrats, who do so much damage both at home and abroad, and more to women than to men, are no longer in power.

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