The U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision last year ending federalized protections for abortion under Roe v. Wade hasn’t stopped the Biden administration from promoting abortion abroad.
A group of Republican senators is reintroducing a bill that would permanently enact and expand existing prohibitions on the use of U.S. foreign assistance to pay for the performance or promotion of abortion services overseas.
The American Values Act, led by U.S. Senators Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Jim Risch (R-ID) would first and foremost clarify that existing prohibitions on the use of U.S. foreign aid in abortions or in promoting abortions, “forced sterilizations, or biomedical research relating to abortions or forced sterilizations shall apply to all assistance under the Foreign Assistance Act.”
“The Biden administration’s use of American taxpayer dollars to fund and promote abortion providers overseas proves once again that Democrats are the extremists when it comes to abortion,” Johnson said. “U.S. foreign assistance should be used as a national security tool, not as a way for the left to export their agenda.”
Just days after taking office, President Joe Biden rescinded a regulation barring American foreign aid from being used to perform or promote abortions. He also restored U.S. funding for the U.N. Population Fund while withdrawing the U.S. from an international accord promoting anti-abortion policies — steps taken by Biden’s predecessor, President Donald Trump.
It is worth noting that among the restrictions placed on foreign aid since the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, is the Biden Amendment of 1981, named after then-Senator Joe Biden (D-Delaware).
“None of the funds made available to carry out this part may be used to pay for any biomedical research which relates, in whole or in part, to methods of, or the performance of, abortions or involuntary sterilization as a means of family planning,” the amendment states.
The president’s long-held pro-life position has “evolved” over the years into full-throated abortion advocacy.
In 2022, the federal government reported $46 billion in foreign aid obligations, including $11.6 billion in health programs. Abortion is legal in the vast majority of the countries benefitting from U.S. taxpayer-funded assistance.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Helms Amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act. It prohibits the use of foreign assistance to pay for the performance of abortion as a method of family planning or to motivate or coerce any person to practice abortion.
Yet Biden’s allegiance to the pro-abortion lobby allows U.S. foreign aid to be used to fund non-governmental organizations abroad that promote and perform abortions.
“Unfortunately, pro-abortion groups continuously work to exploit loopholes and even overturn long-standing pro-life provisions of law that have provided a solid foundation for values-based U.S. foreign assistance,” Risch said in re-introducing the American Values Act. He added the bill would eliminate any ambiguity about how foreign assistance are meant to be applied.
The legislation also would:
› Permanently enact long-standing appropriations restrictions on the use of foreign assistance funds to lobby for or against abortion
› Permanently enact long-standing appropriations restrictions on the provision of foreign assistance funds to organizations that support or participate in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilizations
› Permanently enact long-standing appropriations restrictions on the use of funds made available to the Peace Corps to pay for abortions.
“As the right to life is the most fundamental human right of all, I strongly oppose sending U.S. taxpayer dollars overseas to promote or perform abortion,” said Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a sponsor of the bill.
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M.D. Kittle is the National Political Editor for The Star News Network.
Photo “John Risch” by John Risch.