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Obama to Lift Ban on Abstinence-Plus AIDS Prevention

Barack Obama has plans to put US global AIDS policy on a different path, leaving abstinence-only requirements for funding in the dust. The co-chair of his advisory committee for women's health said that the president-elect is committed to "changing the policies so that family-planning services — both in the US and the developing world — reflect what works, what helps prevent unintended pregnancy, reduce maternal and infant mortality, prevent the spread of disease."

Conversely, on the first day of his presidency, George W. Bush reinstated the "Mexico City Policy," which denies US funding to international groups that perform abortions, provide counseling or referral for abortions, or lobby to make abortion available. The gag order applies to those who use non-US funding to support abortions, too. As a result, many organizations in Africa lost funding, thus, losing means to provide contraception to prevent pregnancy and the transfer of HIV.

Barack Obama's step away from abstinence-only programs and toward a more inclusive approach still keeps US policy a far cry away from teaching sex-ed to kindergartners. Do you think lifting the gag order is the best way to stop the global spread of HIV/AIDS?


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