Globabl Gags Do Not Promote Democracy

Last week, Jo Maney, spokesperson for the House Rules Committee, issued the following statement:

“Lobbying is a First Amendment right and we would not want to in any way chill the desire to petition the government or lobby the government.”


No doubt Ms. Maney is unaware that this is precisely what the Bush Administration has done with respect to international family planning programs, with encouragement from the Republican-controlled Congress. President Bush’s expansive version of the global gag rule denies funding to organizations that use their own, private, non-federal money in provision of counseling or advocacy related to abortion. The pureness of the quote above is a reminder of just how outrageous the global gag rule is, why it would be unconstitutional if applied to U.S. organizations, and how hypocritical this policy is coming from an Administration that preaches the virtues of democracy and freedom.