Bush Must ‘Replace Blanket Ban on Family Planning Aid With Real Knowledge,’ Opinion Piece Says
One trip to Ghana would show conservatives in the United States the importance of "replac[ing] the blanket ban on family planning aid with real knowledge and nuance," former New York Times correspondent Barbara Crossette writes in a Los Angeles Times opinion piece (Crossette, Los Angeles Times, 6/10). The so-called "global gag rule," which is also known as the Mexico City policy, bars U.S. money from international groups that support abortion through direct services, counseling or lobbying activities. President Bush in August 2003 issued an executive order that prevents the State Department from giving family planning grants to international groups that provide abortion-related counseling, effectively extending the Mexico City policy, which previously applied only to USAID (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 9/25/03). In Ghana the "trickle-down effect" of the policy has been "widespread" -- only 19% of couples use contraception, the number of teen births are increasing, sex education is minimal and HIV/AIDS has become a "pervasive threat," Crossette writes. In addition, because the country is religious, the policy's effect has "undermine[d] many programs that conservatives could support," Crossette says (Los Angeles Times, 6/10).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.