The Obama-Biden Transition Project posted a plan on its website called "Advancing Reproductive Rights and Health in a New Administration." It is signed by a coalition of 66 groups including Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America, the National Organization for Women and the American Civil Liberties Union.
The outline lists proposed steps for Obama's first 100 days in office including the following:
-Increase funding for Title X (which funds Planned Parenthood) to $700 million from the current $300 million
-Expand coverage of taxpayer-funded abortions under Medicaid
-Promote sex education in schools and communities at cost of $50 million
-Provide birth control at colleges
-Expand taxpayer-funded abortions to federal employees, military facilities, the Peace Corps and federal prisoners
-Increase funding for Title V Maternal and Child Health services to $850 million from $666 million
-Provide international abortion providers with $1 billion
-Increase funding for the CDC's school HIV and STD prevention programs from $40.2 million to $66.6 million
-Increase funding for substance abuse and mental health services programs for pregnant women and mothers from $12 million to $70 million
-De-fund abstinence only programs
-Re-examine Bush administration policies that block or limit women's access to emergency contraception
-Pass the Freedom of Choice Act
-Select judicial nominees who "demonstrate a commitment to justice civil rights, equal rights, individual liberties, and the fundamental constitutional right to privacy, including the right to have an abortion."
Obama's transition office is also trying to find ways to undo Bush administration policies dealing with abortion.
President Bush issued a regulation today allowing health care workers to refuse to provide abortions if doing so conflicts with their personal, moral or religious beliefs – but the Obama transition team is already seeking a way to repeal the measure.
The rule is scheduled to take effect just three days before Inauguration Day, Jan 20.
Bush's regulation permits federal health officials to deny funding to any state or local government, hospital, clinic, health plan or doctor's office that fires, disciplines or penalizes employees who deny procedures that conflict with their "right of conscience." The Department of Health and Human services estimates the rules will affect more than 584,000 facilities.
"Doctors and other health care providers should not be forced to choose between good professional standing and violating their conscience," Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt told the Washington Post.
Assistant Secretary of Health Joxel Garcia said, "Many health care providers routinely face pressure to change their medical practice – often in direct opposition to their personal convictions. During my practice as an OB-GYN, I witnessed this first-hand. Health care providers shouldn't have to check their consciences at the hospital door."
Sens. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., introduced legislation last month to repeal the rule, and 28 senators, 110 House members and a 12 state attorneys general have criticized Bush's regulation.
"The ability of patients to access health care services, including abortion and reproductive health services, is long-established and is not changed in this rule," it states. "Instead, this rule implements federal laws protecting health care workers and institutions from being compelled to participate in, or from being discriminated against for refusal to participate in, health services or research activities that may violate their consciences … "
In his first days in office, Obama is also expected to issue an executive order lifting Bush's limits on embryonic stem cell research funding. Abortion proponents anticipate Obama will block the "global gag rule" that bans foreign countries from promoting abortion and abortion services if they accept U.S. aid.
Furthermore, Obama has indicated that he will sign the Freedom of Choice Act, or FOCA, codifying Roe v Wade into federal law, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said Obama will face some challenges when he takes office.
"We have a lot of work to do to fix the damage the Bush administration has done," she said.
... remember the photo of the baby (fetus) grasping the Surgeon's hand as he operated? Here's the entire story. - Tiger