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Global Gag Rule? REPEALED!

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CNN and MSNBC are reporting... the global gag rule has been repealed!

Click here to thank President Obama.

More from ABCNews:

President Obama signed an executive order today reversing the ban that prohibits funding to international family planning groups that provide abortions, as first reported by ABC News.

Under the hotly debated "Mexico City Policy," the U.S. government cannot provide funding for family planning services to clinics or groups that offer abortion-related services overseas, even if funding for those activities comes from non-government sources. It essentially bars recipients of U.S. foreign aid from promoting abortion as a method of family planning.

If organizations received government funding, they would "agree as a condition of their receipt of federal funds that such organizations would neither perform nor actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations."

The policy, dubbed the "Global Gag Rule" by pro-abortion supporters, was introduced by the administration of Ronald Reagan in 1984 in Mexico City, and was instituted that year. It was then overturned by President Bill Clinton in 1993 and restored by George W. Bush at the beginning of his office in 2001.

"It is my conviction that taxpayer funds should not be used to pay for abortions or advocate or actively promote abortion, either here or abroad," George W. Bush wrote in a memo to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in 2001.

Past presidents have instituted or revoked the ban on Jan. 22, the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision. President Obama held off on that move, thinking it too combative.

Obama released a paper statement Thursday marking the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade and recommitting to his stance on a woman's right to choose. "We are reminded that this decision not only protects women's health and reproductive freedom but stands for a broader principle: that government should not intrude on our most private family matters. I remain committed to protecting a woman's right to choose," the statement said.

The move is likely to draw heavy criticism from Republicans and anti-abortion groups, just as Obama's executive order to close the detainee center at Guantanamo Bay did Thursday.

You can read NARAL Pro-Choice America's press release here

"President Obama's action today reinforces why elections matter and how new leadership can end divisive policies that harm women," Keenan said. "Reversing this Bush-era policy means that the world's poorest women may now have access to vital health services, from prenatal care to contraception. The president's action today reflects the public's call for a focus on commonsense, common-ground solutions that make a difference in the lives of women and their families."

Be sure to check back for more.

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