Officials: Obama to reverse abortion policy

WASHINGTON (AP) - Abortion rights groups are already celebrating news that President Barack Obama plans to lift the so-called "global gag rule."

Sources say Obama will sign an executive order ending the ban on federal funds for international groups that promote or perform abortions.

The policy has been reinstated and then reversed by Republican and Democratic presidents since President Ronald Reagan established it in 1984. President Bill Clinton ended the ban in 1993, but President George W. Bush re-instituted it in 2001 as 1 of his first acts in office.

Obama is expected to sign the order at a low-key event, one day after the 36th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.