Saturday, December 20, 2008

Remove the Gag - sign the petition.

The Global Gag Rule, implemented in 2001 when US President George W. Bush came into power, denies US funding to overseas health centres if they offer or even mention abortion, even if it's legal in that country. This means that they must stay quiet if asked, they cannot even provide basic information, and if a clinic receives funding and doesn't offer terminations but has a related clinic which does (even if that doesn't get any US money), that centre will no longer receive any money either. These centres aren't just abortion clinics, they offer basic health care, advice, family planning, maternity services. So when these clinics are forced to close due to lack of funds, entire communities are denied the basic services that they have a right to receive. Mothers are more at risk during pregnancy and childbirth. Couples receive no information on contraceptives and safe sex, leaving them more likely to contract STIs or end up with an unwanted pregnancy which, y'know, they may wish to terminate, thus driving more women to the back streets as they have no support or safer alternatives. These clinics also offer vaccinations and medicines, such as anti-malarials. Thus, the GGR has left millions of people sick and dying because of the American Religious Right's closed-minded moralistic selfishness.

There's now a petition to the President-elect, asking him to remove the GGR upon his inauguration. Sign it here.

Story via Feministing.

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