White House promotes abortion funding, ‘reproductive healthcare’ at international gathering on women

Harris to Generation Equality Forum Vice President Kamala Harris delivers a virtual address to the Generation Equality Forum, June 30, 2021 | The White House/YouTube

The White House on Wednesday promoted its push for taxpayer-funded abortion as it made commitments on “gender equity” to an international gathering.

In a fact-sheet announcing commitments of the United States to advancing gender equity around the globe, the White House noted the removal of the Hyde Amendment from President Joe Biden’s first budget.

Biden, in May, submitted his budget request to Congress without the policy. The Hyde Amendment, federal policy since 1976, prohibits federal funding of most elective abortions. If the subsequent government funding bills are signed into law without the policy attached, taxpayers would subsidize elective abortions in Medicaid.  

The White House said the move to repeal Hyde is part of its “domestic efforts to protect and expand sexual and reproductive health and rights.” The term “sexual and reproductive health and rights” is often used in international diplomatic parlance to refer to include abortion and contraception.

Vice President Kamala Harris delivered a virtual address on Wednesday to the opening ceremony of the Generation Equality Forum in Paris, an international gathering co-hosted by France and Mexico.

“When women have access to reproductive healthcare to stay healthy, they can participate more fully and our democracy grows stronger,” Harris said.

She said the Biden administration’s commitments “will yield results. Real, tangible results that improve the lives of women in the United States and women around the world.”

The forum featured representatives of governments, multilateral organizations, and civil society to implement the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the Sustainable Development Goals, and other international objectives. 

Harris led the U.S. delegation to the forum, which included Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, as well as Xavier Becerra, Secretary of Health and Human Services, and Samantha Power, USAID administrator.

The White House also noted its efforts to fund pro-abortion groups internationally. President Biden in January repealed the Mexico City Policy, thus allowing U.S. global health assistance to fund foreign NGOs that provide or promote abortions.

The White House also listed its efforts to increase funding of the UN’s population fund (UNFPA) and the domestic Title X family planning program. The Biden administration is moving to loosen restrictions on the Title X program, which would once again allow recipients to refer for abortions. In addition, the administration’s proposal would require recipients to provide abortion counseling upon request.

Pro-life groups have warned that the rule change and increase to Title X funding including in a recent pandemic relief package could significantly benefit Planned Parenthood affiliates.

The Trump administration had stopped funding the UNFPA in 2017 because of its alleged complicity in forced abortions and sterilizations in its partnership with China. Reggie Littlejohn, founder and president of the Women’s Rights Without Frontiers group and longtime critic of China’s population control policy, said the UNFPA “clearly supports China’s population control program, which they know is coercive.” Forced abortion and sterilization is part of China’s enforcement of its family size limits, she said.

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