Barack Obama took office on Tuesday, and within 48 hours the anti-abortion movement is calling him a global baby killer for lifting the ban on international funding for organizations that are pro-choice.
The Mexico City Policy also known as the global gag rule was established by Ronald Reagan in 1984. The policy denies federal funding for contraception or family planning services to any organization that advocates, counsels, or performs abortions. President Clinton reversed the policy in 1993, and President George W. Bush reinstated the policy in 2001. President Obama broke with tradition by not changing the policy yesterday, but he is expected to sign an executive order doing so any day now.
Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council said, “We have a responsibility to respect the policies and traditions of the many other countries, that have laws recognizing the right to life of the unborn, and it is an insult to fund organizations that are intent on overturning those laws by promoting an elite ideology of abortion on demand.”
Dr. Charmaine Yoest, President & CEO ofAmericans United for Life Action said, “What a terrible way to begin a new administration: with an abortion business bailout that will exploit women in developing countries for political ends. We should not export the tragedy of abortion to other nations, and we certainly shouldn’t do so via the hard-earned dollars of American taxpayers.”
Statistically speaking, according to Planned Parenthood, this is the global situation, “Worldwide, there are more than 200 million women who wish to avoid or delay pregnancy and who do not have access to modern contraception. And every minute of every day, a woman dies from a pregnancy-related cause.
More than 33 million people are living with HIV/AIDS worldwide. Tragically, 2.5 million people were infected in 2007 alone.
About 40 percent of the new HIV infections among adults occur among young people ages 15-24, and young women are particularly at risk. Worldwide, approximately 19 million unsafe abortions are performed annually, with the majority occurring in developing countries. According to the World Health Organization, they account for 13 percent of all maternal mortality, leading to approximately 68,000 deaths each year.”
The reality is that groups like the AUL and FRC don’t care about the spread of HIV. They don’t care about the 68,000 deaths from unsafe abortions. Their opposition is based on extremist black and white morality that will not be satisfied until no abortions are performed on the planet. From a practical point of view, funding groups to provide education and contraception makes sense, no matter how the group feels about abortion. The spread of HIV in the less developed world is more important than abortion. Unfortunately, some extremists are too blind to see this.