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House Committee Reverses Bush's Foreign Aid Ban

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Republicans stressed that the Mexico City policy does not take any money away from the $425 million the administration requested for global population assistance, but merely directs that it go only to organizations that do not foster abortions.

"It's my conviction that taxpayer funds should not be used to pay for abortions or advocate, actively promote abortion either here or abroad," said President Bush when he reinstated the ban earlier this year.

But at that time, many groups, including the National Women's Health Network, told WebMD they felt the Bush administration's view of abortion and family planning were misguided.

"I don't think they're coming in with an open mind," Cindy Pearson, director of the National Women's Health Network, told WebMD in January. Members of the administration, she said, think "that abortion is almost always morally wrong and [they are] wishing it didn't happen."

Ironically, Bush's change in federal policy about funding for abortion-related activities came on the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion. The occasion has sparked protests for the last 27 years.

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