Bush’s campaign against reproductive rights is not limited to the United States. On his first day in office, Bush reinstated the global gag rule, which prevents international family planning organizations with any U.S. funding from providing abortion services or counseling, even with non-U.S. funds. Bush also withheld $34 million in funding for birth control, maternal and child health care, and HIV/AIDS education from the UN Population Fund, based on unfounded claims that the fund supported coercive abortion practices. At the UN Children’s Summit, the U.S. delegation humiliated itself before the international community by opposing sex education, as well as rehabilitation for girls who are the victims of war crimes, usually rape, because such rehabilitation might involve contraception or abortion, and the promotion of condoms to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. Despite international repudiation of this retrograde stance, by denying crucial funding to international population organizations the United States helps increase the spread of HIV, STDs, unplanned pregnancies, and dangerous illegal abortions around the world.
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