Mainstream Republicans Take The Lead for Peace Corps WomenPosted: June 23, 2014
Mainstream Republican Senators Susan Collins (ME) and Mark Kirk (IL) have once again taken the lead in forwarding commonsense pro-choice legislation.
The Senate Appropriations Committee voted Thursday to lift a ban on emergency abortion coverage for Peace Corps volunteers and to permanently repeal what is known as the Mexico City Policy or the Global Gag rule, a restriction on foreign aid for family planning groups.
If signed into law, this amendment to a 2015 spending bill would allow women in the Peace Corps to receive abortion coverage for pregnancies arising from rape or incest or that endanger the woman’s life. More than three in five Peace Corps volunteers are women, yet the Peace Corps is one of the only federal agencies that does not cover this constitutional right for its employees. This commonsense legislation takes big steps towards protecting women in the Peace Corps who have volunteered to serve and represent the United States abroad and levels the playing field for women previously discriminated against because extremists refused to grant them the same personal freedoms afforded to other federal employees.
The Global Gag rule restriction bans NGOs receiving US aid from providing any type of abortion counseling or referrals or advocating for any changes in their country’s abortion laws, even with their own separate funds. Eliminating this policy means NGOs will now be able to provide women in developing countries with comprehensive reproductive health and family planning services. Permanently repealing this measure will decrease the number of abortions in developing countries by increasing access to other forms of birth control, a consequence of putting prevention over politics.