Christy Turlington to Obama: End Global Gag Rule That Harms Women
Orginally posted on Huffington Post
As we gear up for the new year ahead and new leadership in the White House, the fate and well-being of hundreds of thousands of women around the world hangs in the balance.
More than half a million women die each year giving birth. Young women -- adolescent girls ages 15 to 19 -- are often the most vulnerable; they account for at least 20 percent of these largely preventable deaths. Fifteen percent of all pregnant women worldwide experience obstetric complications. Too often, a young woman will be in labor for several days, resulting in her baby's death because her birth is unattended. As it stands, 13 percent of these maternal deaths worldwide -- 67,000 per year -- are due to unsafe abortion procedures.
Thankfully, on Election Day, we did not choose four more years of conservative, unsympathetic leaders. Under the previous administration, we simply made it far too difficult for women outside of the U.S. to access reproductive-health and family-planning services. Case in point: In 1984, the Reagan administration established the Mexico City Policy -- widely referred to as the Global Gag Rule because it denies foreign organizations receiving U.S. family-planning assistance the right to use their own non-U.S. funds to provide legal abortion or counsel, or even to refer to abortion or to lobby for the legalization of abortion. President Clinton rescinded this policy in 1993, but President George W. Bush reinstated it on his first day in office in 2001.
Let's call on President Obama to rescind it again.
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