And to think, only this morning, Sady over at Tiger Beatdownand I were conversing via Internet about how we weren’t exaaaaaactly sure the entire extent of this “gag rule” we’d heard so much about (among other concerns—-could you not say the word “abortion,” internationally?) but that we knew it was dumb and awful. Now Barack Obama has gone ahead and reversed the darn thing, so we get to find out exactly what it meant, now that it’s gone. The Guardian describes the gag rule as “a ban on federal funds to foreign family planning organisations that either offer abortions or provide information or counselling about abortion,” which should clear it up, once you get past the backwards British spellings.
George Bush instated the rule a little over eight years ago, on the 2001 anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Before him, Bill Clinton had reversed the rule that, before him, Ronald Reagan had thought up for the very first time. The Guardian calls it “the most contentious move of [Obama’s] young administration,” which isn’t saying so much, and really, what could have been more predictable?