One might assume that the United States, which sends more than $200 million in aid to Ethiopia each year, is in a position to help. Not so. Thanks to restrictions put in place by both the Bush administration and anti-abortion Republicans in Congress, most of that aid has been funneled away from family-planning organizations, forcing health clinics to shut down and birth-control supplies to dwindle. "We haven't counted the number of women who got pregnant as a result," one local advocate said.
Even though these restrictions have exacted a deadly toll on women in developing countries--and, ironically, may well increase the abortion rate--they garner relatively little attention, tracked mainly by advocacy groups and the occasional attentive columnist. But the debate over family-planning funds could become one of the major reproductive-rights battles over the next two years: Although pro-choice Democrats in Congress may lack the votes to improve abortion rights at home, the international arena is a different matter, and the first skirmish may come over one of the most notorious Bush-era policies--the so-called "global gag rule".
We have talked about this before, but this is a perfect example of ideology (as I think UBUB pointed out) creating serious problems when it dominates policy.