Jan. 23, 2009
"Yesterday, President Obama issued Executive Orders banning the torture of terrorists, but today [he] signed an order that exports the torture of unborn children around the world."
Tony Perkins, Family Research Council president, criticizing Obama's decision to sign a memorandum ending the ban on the so-called global gag rule governing U.S. family-planning dollars spent abroad
"For eight long years, the global gag rule has been used by the Bush Administration to play politics with the lives of poor women across the world."
Gill Greer of the International Planned Parenthood Federation in London, praising Obama's decision to sign the memorandum
While Day Three's Gitmo announcement was fully intended to attract lots of attention, Obama's reversal of the "global gag rule" is done much more quietly. The White House sends a brief statement to the press late on Friday saying Obama has signed an Executive Order overturning the policy banning federal funding for international groups that promote or perform abortions. The controversial rule has been implemented by Republican Administrations and ended by Democratic Administrations for more than two decades since its establishment by Ronald Reagan in 1984. But unlike his predecessors, including Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, Obama opted against issuing the abortion-related order on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade the day before.
Meanwhile, while the rest of the political world is still fixated on what made Caroline Kennedy drop her Senate bid, New York Governor David Paterson names upstate New York House Representative Kirsten Gillibrand to fill Clinton's shoes on the Hill. Obama phones Gillibrand (twice) to congratulate her, missing her the first time because she was still delivering her speech at the announcement ceremony.
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