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PRESS STATEMENT: Health Care Providers Applaud Obama’s Decision to Rescind Harmful Global Gag Rule



Decision Will Lead to Better Care for Women Around the World

For Immediate Release
January 23,  2009

Contact: Jennifer Aulwes
(202) 621-1411
jaulwes@arhp.org

**Health Care Providers Available for Comment**

Today the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP), representing over 11,000 members, applauds President Obama for his decision to issue an Executive Order rescinding the Mexico City Policy, better known as the Global Gag Rule. The Global Gag Rule prevents any foreign non-governmental organization (NGO) that receives family planning assistance from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) from advocating for or providing abortion-related services, even with their own non-U.S. dollars.

Dr. Pablo Rodriguez, ARHP's Board Chair states:

"This decision will finally allow health care providers around the world to offer women abortion care, information, and referrals without the threat of loosing vital funding from the United States. For eight years under Bush, the Global Gag Rule undermined the ability of providers everywhere to care for women according to best medical practice and contributed to the deaths and injuries of an untold number of women who sought unsafe abortions when their community-based clinics and hospitals couldn't offer services, information or referrals.

"The Global Gag Rule also restricted NGOs world wide from participating in abortion rights advocacy in their own country which undermines the United States' commitment to world-wide democracy and the democratic process.

"We applaud President Obama and are hopeful that this decision signals a renewed commitment to the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and families around the world. We look forward to the Obama Administration's continued efforts to restore integrity to U.S. foreign assistance and re-establish the U.S. as a partner in the global community.

Dr. Rodriguez continued, "At this time in history, when access to health care is at its lowest due to the economic crisis and a stressed health care system, the Bush Administration wants to create more barriers for women's access to care—a truly unconscionable legacy."



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The Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP) is the leading source for trusted medical education and information on reproductive and sexual health. ARHP educates health care providers, informs consumers, and helps shape public policy. ARHP is a non-profit membership association composed of highly qualified and committed experts in reproductive health. ARHP members are health professionals in clinical practice, education, research, and advocacy and they include physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurse midwives, researchers, educators, pharmacists, and other professionals in reproductive health. To learn more, visit: http://www.arhp.org.