Obama Poised to Swiftly Reverse Bush Abortion Policy

Rule bans federal funding of organizations that provide abortion counseling
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 20, 2009 3:09 AM CST
Barack Obama gestures during a speech at the Planned Parenthood Public Affairs Conference in Washington in 2007.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Barack Obama will likely revoke a controversial Bush administration rule on abortion within days of taking office, sources tell CNN. The policy, dubbed the "global gag rule" by critics, denies all US funding to family-planning services around the world that promote abortion or make any mention of abortion while giving information, counseling or referrals.

The policy was introduced by Ronald Reagan but reversed by Bill Clinton within days of taking office. It was reinstated in 2001 by President Bush in his first executive order. Thursday marks the 36th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion, and Democrats believe Obama may use the occasion to reverse the Bush rule.