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Obama likely to renew birth control clinic funds

Observers believe that among many of the new executive orders Barack Obama will sign, one is likely to lift the ban on US funding for family planning groups overseas, the AFP reported.

"I think there's a very good likelihood that he will lift the 'global gag rule,'" Steven Mosher, head of the pro-life, non-profit Population Research Institute, said in the same article.

When George W. Bush came into office, he reversed former President Clinton's reversal of the previous holds on the funds.

The Bush administration blocked the funding because they believed that the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) was supporting coercive abortions, the article said.

However, the ban also took away the money that also goes to family planning and contraception, Tait Sye, a spokesman for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), said.

In developing countries, were access to contraception is sparse, many women turn to abortion as a means of birth control, according to a World Bank report published in July.

The report also states that abortion is more costly than contraceptive services.

Many pro-life supporters are distressed about the decision to overthrow the gag rule.

"The majority of Americans are horrified by the concept of abortion and that includes many types of hormonal contraception which operate by causing early abortion," Katie Walker, spokeswoman for the American Life League told AFP.

"We are appalled that Barack Obama is considering changing the policy," she said.

Roughly 50 percent of Americans are pro-choice and around 40 percent are pro-life, according to a survey by Gallup conducted in May.