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    081143

    USA President Clinton acts to ensure reproductive health.

    IPPF OPEN FILE. 1993 Feb; 1.

    In 1984, in Mexico City, the Reagan administration announced its policy prohibiting USAID from supporting any nongovernmental organization which used its own or US funds for any abortion-related activities. Even though this policy was intended to reduce the incidence of abortion, it had the opposite effect because the cut in funding left some areas of the developing world with no family planning services or information at all. Further, this policy resulted in a loss of $17 million (US) or 25% of the budget of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). On January 22, 1993, US President Clinton reversed this policy. IPPF considered President Clinton's action to be a significant event for women's health, human rights, and global development. This reversal will provide family planning services to about 300 million couples who want to practice family planning but could not do so because they did not have access to it. Shortly after President Clinton's announcement, IPPF began writing a proposal to USAID for funds to restore programs that the Mexico City policy eliminated. IPPF hoped the reversal would spark international recognition of the need for safe access to abortion. Other actions President Clinton has taken to promote reproductive health are reversing the Reagan and Bush administrations' rule prohibiting abortion counseling at federally-funded clinics, requesting that the US Food and Drug Administration study the possible marketing of RU-486, removing the ban on abortion in military hospitals, approving regulations allowing fetal tissue research, and appointing an abortion rights advocate as Surgeon General. The Catholic Church opposed all of Clinton's abortion policies. However, many congregations, priests, and Vatican officials are dissatisfied with the Pope's anticontraception position.
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