Penny Starr
November 11, 2008

The “change” that President-elect Barack Obama promised on the campaign trail will likely include overturning President George W. Bush’s 2001 executive order to prohibit the use of federal tax dollars for performing or advocating abortion as a means of family planning in foreign countries, Obama’s transition team has said.

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

“There’s a lot that the president can do using his executive authority without waiting for congressional action, and I think we’ll see the president do that,” John Podesta, head of Obama’s transition team, said when he appeared on “Fox News Sunday.”

One of those executive orders is the Mexico City Policy, or as critics call it, the “global gag act,” a U.S. policy first put into place at an August 1984 Conference on Population in Mexico City by President Ronald Reagan.

The Reagan policy required all non-governmental agencies, or NGOs, that received population aid dollars from the United States to agree to not perform or actively promote abortions.

In what has become a partisan tradition in the first days of both Republican or Democratic administrations, President Bill Clinton removed the order shortly after taking office in 1993, and Bush reinstated it on Jan. 22, 2001.

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