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President Obama will issue an executive order on Thursday reversing the Bush administration policy that bans the use of federal dollars by non-govermental organizations that discuss or provide abortions outside of the United States. Obama will sign the executive order on the 36th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion in all 50 states.
The policy, known in governmental circles as the "Mexico City policy," requires any non-governmental organization to agree before receiving U.S. funds that they will "neither perform nor actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations."
The language was announced at the United Nations International Conference on Population in 1984, and was approved by President Reagan and originally drafted by his assistant secretary of state, Alan Keyes.
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A senior Vatican official on Saturday attacked US President Barack Obama for "arrogance" for overturning a ban on state funding for family-planning groups that carry out or facilitate abortions overseas.
It is "the arrogance of someone who believes they are right, in signing a decree which will open the door to abortion and thus to the destruction of human life," Archbishop Rino Fisichella was quoted as saying by the Corriere della Sera daily.
What is important is to know how to listen... without locking oneself into ideological visions with the arrogance of a person who, having the power, thinks they can decide on life and death," he added.