President Obama signed an executive order lifting restrictions that prevented U.S. aid to international organizations that promote or perform abortions with their own funds. Several MacArthur grantees in the field of population and reproductive health had urged repeal of the “global gag rule,” including the Center for Reproductive Rights, International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region, the Center for Health and Gender Equity, and International Women's Health Coalition. Grantees said the policy, originally enacted by President Reagan, was tantamount to restricting the free speech of international family planning organizations. They also criticized the gag rule for impeding the delivery of contraceptives and comprehensive reproductive health services to poor women and people in the developing world. The decision was reported by the The New York Times, Reuters, National Public Radio, and other national and international media.

Population & Reproductive Health, Health, Policy, Population, United States