Obama lifts abortion gag rule before SF clash

Pub date January 23, 2009
SectionPolitics Blog

By Steven T. Jones

Just in time for tomorrow’s dueling San Francisco abortion demonstrations, President Barack Obama today signed an executive order lifting the ban on U.S. funding going to family planning groups that perform abortions or provide counseling on the procedure, once again lifting the country out of the Christian fundamentalist dark ages.

The ban was first imposed by President Ronald Reagan in 1984, then rescinded by President Bill Clinton, then reinstated by President George W. Bush. Although not unexpected, the timing of Obama’s action is sure to buoy the spirits of demonstrators with the Bay Area Coalition for Our Reproductive Rights, which for the last five years has countered the massive Walk for Life, in which anti-abortion organizers bus in thousands of conservative church-goers (and their disgusting pictures of mangled fetuses) from throughout the Western U.S.