Obama's staff is talking about lifting the global gag order:
``We have been going in the wrong direction and we need to turn it around and be promoting prevention and family-planning services and strengthening public health,'' said [co-chairman of Obama's advisory committee for women's health Susan] Wood, a research professor at George Washington University School of Public Health in Washington.
Bush on his first day in office, in January 2001, reinstated the so-called Mexico City Policy -- known to critics as the global gag rule. It bars U.S. family-planning assistance for organizations that use funding from any other source to provide counseling and referral for abortion, lobby to make abortion legal or more available in their country, or perform abortions except in cases of a threat to the woman's life, rape or incest.
Obama ``is committed to looking at all this and changing the policies so that family-planning services -- both in the U.S. and the developing world -- reflect what works, what helps prevent unintended pregnancy, reduce maternal and infant mortality, prevent the spread of disease,'' Wood said.
There isn't any reason to be promoting abstinence abroad. It's a crazy, paternalistic plan to tell other people to refrain from having sex, as if Bush not wanting dudes in Uganda to go messing around with each other or for women to get abortions in Rwanda was actually going to make people stop and say, "Well, gee, that nice president of the US doesn't want us to do this, so we'd better stop."
While PEPFAR funding was being increased, prevention's important too. And just telling the queers to stop having sex does nothing. Hell, telling straights to stop having sex outside marriage doesn't do much either. Providing scientific sex ed and condoms has been proven to work; abstinence education hasn't.
As for the global gag order, the president of the US and all his fundamentalist supporters don't have the knowledge to be making a decision on a woman's abortion half a world away. But that's the same kind of arrogant foreign policy that led us into Iraq and has made most of the world hate us.
Elections have results, and I'm glad that this is one of them. Isn't having a sane person in office nice?