Here is what I know: (1) Reagan, Bush, and Bush pulled funding to any international NGO (non-government organization) clinics that provided access, through referrals, to abortions; (2) Clinton and now Obama have undone the Reagan-Bush-Bush decisions. (The pulling of support by the Repubs is called the Mexico City Policy or the “gag order.” The Dems decision essentially brought support for NGOs in line with current policy in the USA — namely, abortions are legal.)
(3) Some argue that the pulling of funding from NGO clinics resulted in millions of women having less or no access to health care. (4) This resulted in more unwanted pregnancies and more abortions. Therefore, (5) they argue that providing funds to these NGOs will decrease unwanted pregnancies and also reduce abortions.
I support reducing abortions by reducing unwanted pregnancies or due to lack of birth control. (There’s much more to be said here, but we need not digress.) BUT…
There are two major questions here:
(6) Did the Reagan-Bush-Bush decision pull out all those funds and redirect them to other things at home or abroad that had nothing to do with health care?
(7) Or did it shift the funds from abortion-providing (direct or indirect) NGO clinics to non-abortion-providing NGO clinics? (In which case, the funds are doing good for health care and providing birth control and reducing unwanted pregnancies, etc..)
If it is the #6 option (they pulled funds altogether), we need to think through this and urge the Obama Administration to find a real third way.
If it is the #7 option (they shifted funds), the Mexico City Policy did a very good thing. If Obama undid #7, we would then find some non-abortion providing/accessing NGOs underfunded and some abortion-providing/accessing NGOs getting funds. To pull funds from an NGO that is reducing unwanted pregnancies and giving them to an NGO is that is both reducing pregnancies and providing abortions doesn’t make sense if the goal is to reduce abortions by reducing unwanted pregnancies. (And this doesn’t even get near the moral responsibility both men and women have to live with the consequences of their sexual decisions… but that’s another topic, too.)
Does anyone really now the answers to our sixth and seventh points? We would need answers to the 6th and 7th options to know if rescinding the gag order actually will change anything.