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The National Women's Law Center and Catholics for a Free Choice (CFC) are urging the U.S. House of Representatives to support an amendment to this year's State Department funding bill that would overturn President George W.Bush's ban on federal money for organizations that support or perform abortions abroad.

"To be hostile toward a woman's right to choose, and then make it harder for
women, especially poor women in developing countries to obtain contraceptive
services flies in the face of common sense and basic concern for women's
health and rights," said Marcia Greenberger, co-president of the women's law
Catholics for a Free Choice President Frances Kissling commented "The
global gag rule does nothing to reduce the incidence of abortion, it only
undermines reproductive health care worldwide and keeps adequate family
planning services from the most vulnerable in society.
The global gag rule could actually increase abortions by preventing family
planning services from being offered at the same sites where women have
abortions, destroying the ability of health professionals to counsel women
who have abortions about family planning."

Several U.S. newspapers also criticize the "global gag rule". A
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editorial calls the Bush policy "an offensive and
potentially counterproductive approach," calling for its repeal. An Atlanta
Journal-Constitution editorial calls the Bush decision "a war on poor women
in developing countries" .
In its editorial, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch calls for overruling Bush's
order because 500,000 women die each year worldwide from pregnancy-related
causes, including the lack of family planning

SOURCE: UN News Wire, CFC press release, NWLC press release, 8 , 9 , 10 May
National Women's Law Center:
Catholics for a Free Choice: