That's the message I hear every time I read a pro-choice organization's tirade against the Mexico City Policy, usually called the Global Gag Rule by abortion proponents. The Mexico City policy prevents U.S. taxpayer funds from going to organizations that perform, refer, or promote abortion overseas.
Planned Parenthood's web site is featuring an article on the policy by Betsy Illingworth.
Illingworth sums up the quandary that abortion advocates are faced with by saying, "Reproductive health NGOs are forced to make a choice: accept the U.S. funding but agree to terms that may endanger the health of their patients, or reject the funding and be forced to cut programs — also endangering their patients' health."
But I always wonder: How does not performing, referring, or advocating for abortion endanger the health of patients? If the patients and the funding are so important then why not just dump abortion advocacy? Why does abortion advocacy take priority over everything else?
Illingworth goes on to list different organizations and programs that have suffered because of their refusal to drop their abortion advocacy. Planned Parenthood blames the Mexico City policy for cutting contraceptives and HIV services but they should really be blaming themselves. Organizations have been given a simple choice: "Dump abortion and you can continue to receive funds. Keep abortion and you lose your funds." Too often abortion advocates cling to their abortion advocacy in spite of what they lose because of it and then blame President Bush because they don't like his rules.
The article also claims that "The Global Gag Rule Obstructs Free Speech and Democracy." Now this is childish statement for even Planned Parenthood. Would a policy that prevents federal funds from going to organizations that advocate for toddler torture be an obstruction of free speech? What about a policy that prevents federal funds from going to Neo-Nazi organizations?