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House Committee Votes To Reinstate 'Global Gag Rule'

The House Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday voted to “reinstate a ban on providing foreign aid to groups that perform abortions or provide advice about the procedure,” The Hill’s “HealthWatch” blog reports on the “so-called ‘global gag rule'” (Baker, 7/21).

The committee voted down an amendment to the draft FY12 Foreign Relations Authorization Act (HR 2583) presented by Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), the committee’s ranking Democrat, that would have stripped the language reinstating and expanding the “ban on funding international non-governmental organizations that discuss abortion known as the Mexico City Policy,” according to Foreign Policy’s “The Cable” blog. The language would expand the ban as “it would ban all funding for organizations that discuss abortion and not make exceptions for certain programs such as HIV/AIDS funding,” the blog writes (Rogin, 7/21).

The committee also “blocked an amendment … that would have banned any assistance to Pakistan in the wake of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden near the country’s main military academy,” Agence France-Presse reports (Tandon, 7/21).

The Malaria Policy Center’s blog notes the passage of a bipartisan amendment to the authorization bill that “recognizes the tremendous burden malaria places on the world” and “the successful progress that has been made in the fight against malaria through both national and international efforts to prevent and treat malaria” (Todd, 7/21).

The committee passed the amended authorization act on a vote of 20-23, according to a committee statement (7/21).

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