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Advocates Ask President Obama To Issue Executive Order Allowing Foreign Aid For Post-Rape Care Services

“Reproductive and human rights advocates pressed President Obama Wednesday to issue an executive order clearing the path for U.S. foreign aid for post-rape care services — including abortions — in parts of the world reeling from crisis or conflict,” The Hill’s “RegWatch” blog reports. “Federal law dating back to 1973 prohibits the use of U.S. funds to ‘pay for the performance of abortion as a method of family planning or to motivate or coerce any person to practice abortions,'” the blog notes, adding, “The language, called the Helms Amendment, after former Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.), does not, however, bar the use of U.S. aid to pay for abortions in cases of rape, activists from [the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE)], the Global Fund for Women, and Human Rights Watch contend.” CHANGE “has initiated discussions with officials at the State Department and [USAID], and is requesting meetings with the White House to make the case for an executive order, [CHANGE President Serra Sippel] said,” the blog notes (Goad, 12/11).