Reuters, June 6, 2007
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Family planning groups outside of the United States would be allowed to receive contraceptives from the U.S. government under a Democratic plan moving through the House of Representatives that could prompt a veto by President George W. Bush.
Next week, the House Appropriations Committee is expected to debate the measure, which is attached to a bill funding diplomatic and foreign aid projects in the fiscal year starting October 1.
Democrats, who gained control of Congress this year after mid-term elections, aim to loosen restrictions that deny aid to groups abroad that provide family planning services including advice on abortions, although they are not trying to lift a ban on abortion funding itself.
If passed by the House and Senate, the provision could provoke a veto by President George W. Bush, warned Rep. Dave Weldon, a Florida Republican.
The Bush administration instead has advocated education programs on abstinence until marriage.
On Tuesday, a House appropriations subcommittee approved the language allowing the U.S. Agency for International Development to provide subsidized contraceptives to organizations abroad that have been denied assistance because of their involvement in abortions.
Rep. Nita Lowey, the New York Democrat who chairs the foreign operations subcommittee, said that providing the contraceptives would help lower the number of abortions while also cutting cases of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.
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