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Obama lifts global gag rule on family-planning funding

A decision hailed by most but deplored by right-wing anti abortion groups, the U.S. President Barack Obama Friday announced the lift of an eight-year ban on U.S. funding for overseas family-planning groups and clinics that perform or promote abortion or lobby for its legalisation. Critics called the ban “the global gag rule” because of its restrictions on the right of groups receiving U.S. family-planning assistance to participate in public debate on abortion in their home countries. According to many health organisations, this signals a new era in U.S. leadership supporting health, safety and rights of women across the world.