Barack Obama has lifted restrictions on abortion funding, overturning yet another policy of his predecessor George W. Bush.
The US President reversed the ban, which had stopped federal funds for groups providing abortion services or counselling outside the US. Obama said the restrictions had undermined efforts to promote ‘safe and effective’ family planning in developing countries. In recent years, the law has become a tit-for-tat policy, changing each time the White House shifts from one party to the other. The issue of abortion remains hugely divisive in the US and the decision to lift the ban is being heavily criticised by pro-life activists. But pro-choice campaigners have praised the move saying the ban led to a huge drop in global funding to family planning and basic health clinics. They claim the restrictions resulted in an increase in back street abortions and even deaths.