President Barack Obama will issue an executive order Friday afternoon reversing a controversial abortion policy from the past three Republican administrations, a senior administration official said.
The order comes the day after the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade — the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion in the United States.
The order reverses the “Mexico City policy,” initiated by President Ronald Reagan in 1984, canceled by President Bill Clinton and reinstated by President George W. Bush in 2001.
The policy prohibits U.S. money from going to international family planning groups that promote or provide information, counseling, or referrals about abortion services. It says any organization that receives U.S. family planning funds from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) cannot offer abortions or abortion counseling.
Reuters today posted a useful Q&A on the Mexico City Policy/Global Gag Rule.
Earlier today, President Obama’s press secretary, Robert Gibbs, was asked during a press conference whether there was any news today on this topic, and Gibbs said he didn’t want to get ahead of the president’s newsmaking.
“As a part of my overall career advancement, I’ve found it useful to get out of the way of a principal that might be making news on certain subjects later on in the afternoon,” Gibbs said. ” And I will exercise that right again today and ask you to stay tuned for a statement from the president possibly on those issues soon. ”