President Bush's anti-abortion policy has forced family planning clinics in poor countries to close, leaving some communities without any healthcare, according to a report issued Wednesday.
Even faith-based clinics that promote abstinence -- in line with White House policy -- have had to close, according to organizers.
Under the policy, known as the Mexico City rule by supporters and the Global Gag rule by opponents, foreign family planning agencies cannot receive U.S. funds if they provide abortion services or lobby to make or keep abortion legal in their own country.
A survey of Ethiopia, Kenya, Romania and Zambia by Population Action International and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America showed the rule had forced clinics to close and left many men and women without access to contraceptives that could prevent both unwanted pregnancies and AIDS....
The administration's response is this:
But White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan said the policy only affected family planning clinics, not general health clinics.
In other words, no matter how poor your area, if you seek U.S. assistance you have to set up one general clinic in which no one breathes a word about abortion, and then, if you want to offer family-planning services, you have to set up a completely separate clinic elsewhere -- even though the strain of maintaining one clinic is presumably why you seek U.S. assistance in the first place.
Or you could just do it the Bush administration's way and not offer the family-planning services altogether -- y'know, "My way or the highway."