Obama to reverse Bush abortion policy

In his first week, the new president reverses Bush's Mexico City order from eight years ago.

By Thomas Schaller

Published January 23, 2009 3:54PM (EST)

Reuters reports that, as expected, Barack Obama will sign an executive order reversing the so-called Mexico City abortion policy his predecessor signed eight years ago this week:

The Democratic president's decision is a victory for advocates of abortion rights on an issue that has become a tit-for-tat policy change each time the White House shifts from one party to the other in recent years.

When the ban was in place, no U.S. government funding for family planning services could be given to clinics or groups that offer abortion services or counseling in other countries even if the funds for those activities come from non-U.S. government sources.

Elections have consequences.

Thomas Schaller

Thomas F. Schaller is professor of political science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the author of "Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South." Follow him @schaller67.

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