Friday, January 23, 2009

Big Favors

I've been seeing this sign every time I come home from San Francisco, and it deeply disturbs me, as I don't think I've ever seen an anti-choice message this prominently displayed in the Bay Area. I used to count the signs on my four cross-country trips, but this is my haven, my mecca! Obviously my rosy vision of home was shattered with the passing of Prop 8, but this is really really upsetting.

It's a crappy picture, because I keep trying to take a picture while driving (not illegal, yet, I don't think) and I'm always in the wrong lane, but basically, it's a billboard for a walk for life that will occur later this month. (Here is another link to the story and a better picture of the billboard. I refuse to link to one of the pages that praises the billboards. Sorry, I just can't do it.) It's free speech, I get it. Everyone with a few bazillion dollars can get their name in lights, and we all have the right to assemble. But the righteous, indignant side of me still says that this is my home, and I don't want to see it here.

Well, the righteous, indignant side of me was rewarded today. Because after I got home from taking pictures, including the crappy moving in traffic one above, I read the great news that Obama overturned the global gag rule. Just this morning I was reading up on NARAL about the global gag rule, and muttering to myself about how Obama needed to do something about this since instating the global gag rule was Bush's first action in office. My memory is bad, but not that bad. In case you hadn't heard, or forgot, I mean, it *has* been 8 very very long years, and there were a few other things to think about, here's what the gag rule did:

This policy restricts foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that receive USAID family planning funds from using their own, non-U.S. funds to provide legal abortion services, lobby their own governments for abortion law reform, or even provide accurate medical counseling or referrals regarding abortion. The 1973 Helms Amendment is a legislative provision that already restricts U.S. funds from being used for these activities.

Basically, to receive US funds, international NGOs can't discuss abortions. There are so many issues here, and I encourage you to keep reading about them. But this is my post to thank President Obama- in his second full day of office (I'll forgive him 24 hours to deal with pressing issues like closing Guantanamo) he reversed this nefarious ruling. Mr President, you're on the right path in themacinator's eyes.