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Pelavin: "His action is particularly timely, coming just one day after the 36th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision."
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WASHINGTON, D.C., January 23, 2009 - Mark Pelavin, Associate Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, today welcomed President Obama's repeal of the ÐGlobal Gag Rule." Under the Global Gag Rule, foreign family planning organizations that used their own, non-U.S. funds to provide legal abortion services or to lobby their own governments for changes in abortion laws were banned from receiving any U.S. aid for their non-abortion family planning work. Mr. Pelavins statement follows:
We are pleased and grateful that President Obama, in one of his first acts as President, issued an Executive Order to abolish the rule that withheld U.S. family planning funding to overseas organizations that support legal abortion. His action is particularly timely, coming just one day after the 36th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. The repeal of the Global Gag Rule represents a major victory for international family planning programs and renews Americas position as a leader in the global community.
Jewish tradition teaches that if a person saves one life, it is as if they have saved the world. In a world where poor reproductive health remains the leading cause of death for women, and complications from unsafe abortion result in approximately 67,000 deaths and at least 5 million serious injuries annually, today marks an important step forward.
Repeal of the gag rule renews Americas commitment to protecting the health and lives of women and the future of families and communities everywhere. We hope this is the first step toward a new era of U.S. partnership in global cooperation to ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and the advancement of womens sexual and reproductive rights worldwide.