By: Mark Leon Goldberg on January 23, 2009 President Obama will lift the Global Gag Rule today. Amen! See yesterday’s post for more on why international family planning assistance is critical to global health and development. UPDATE It’s official! Plus, President Obama has restored US funding for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Tim Wirth says, “UNFPA is the world’s leader in advocating for universal access to reproductive health services. It is very clear that working with UNFPA will save women’s lives and help reduce the need for recourse to abortion. For example, the $34 million withheld by the Bush Administration in one year alone, could have helped UNFPA prevent 2 million unintended pregnancies, 800,000 abortions, 4,700 mothers’ deaths, and more than 77,000 infant and child deaths. “Working in more than 150 countries, UNFPA is on the front lines of reducing poverty, ensuring that every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person is free of HIV/AIDS, and every girl and woman is treated with dignity and respect. Approximately 180 industrialized and developing countries, including all the countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, contribute to UNFPA. The United States was the only country to withhold funding for political reasons.” Like I said, elections have consequences.