House votes to reverse ban on overseas contraceptive aid

House votes to reverse ban on overseas contraceptive aid

[JURIST] The US House of Representatives [official website] Thursday passed a measure by 223-201 that would reverse a ban on contraceptive aid to overseas agencies that offer abortions. The measure, introduced by Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) [official website], is attached to bill HR 2764 [PDF text], appropriating $34.2 billion for the Department of the State and for foreign aid inr 2008. The amendment would allow contraceptive aid to be given to nongovernmental agencies overseas, regardless of whether they promote or provide abortions.

The aid ban, originally called the Mexico City Policy [Wikipedia backgrounder], was initially introduced under President Ronald Reagan in 1984 and required nongovernmental organizations to agree as a condition of their receipt of US funds that they would neither perform nor actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations. This policy was in effect until it was rescinded on January 22, 1993. President George W. Bush reinstated the policy [memorandum text] in January 2001. The measure passed Thursday is expected to be swiftly vetoed by the president if it obtains Senate support. AP has more.