The President of United States of America, Joe Biden, on Thursday, rescinded a regulation that barred U.S. foreign aid from being used to perform or promote abortions. His decision, while expected, was cheered by abortion-choice advocates and some humanitarian groups and denounced by anti-abortion groups.
The move also included a restoration of American funding to the U.N. Population Fund and withdraws the U.S. from an international accord that promotes anti-abortion policies.
The steps came just a week after he was inaugurated and fulfills a campaign pledge to reverse a policy that previous Republican presidents, including his immediate predecessor, Donald Trump, had instated immediately on taking office.
The policy — known as the “Mexico City” rule, after the place where it was first announced at an international population conference, or the “global gag rule” — has been a political ping-pong ball, bouncing back and forth between Republican and Democratic presidents since it was first enacted in 1985 during President Ronald Reagan’s second term.
“These excessive conditions on foreign and development assistance undermine the United States’ efforts to advance gender equality globally by restricting our ability to support women’s health and programs that prevent and respond to gender-based violence,” Biden said in a memorandum to his Cabinet.