A question posed during a town hall last week alluded to the idea that women who aren’t “empowered” by abortion are directly linked to overpopulation and climate change. An audience member asked a question of former Vice President Joe Biden, “… The majority of the world’s population growth takes place in the poorest countries in the world, where women aren’t being empowered. What will you do to help empower women in the world’s poorest countries?”
Biden responded, “I strongly oppose the limitations on the ability for the United States to contribute to organizations in these countries that, in fact, provide women’s health alternatives for choice.”
Climate change and overpopulation are heavily debated topics with a wide range of opinions on both matters. Some European countries have begun to offer incentives for couples to have more children as they face the reality of economic decline due to falling birth rates. But even if climate change and overpopulation were undisputed facts, allowing US taxpayers to fund abortion in poor countries is, at best, misguided.
Poor women in developing countries don’t want to be “empowered” by abortion
The notion that the population in poor countries would be rising because “women aren’t being empowered” – in other words, they don’t have access to abortion – shows that there is a deep misunderstanding of what women in poorer countries value and want.
African pro-life activist Obianuju Ekeocha has said for years that women in African countries do not want abortions and that for countries such as the United States to push abortion on these women is a new form of “colonization.”
“… I don’t think that any Western country has a right to pay for abortions in an African country, especially when the majority of people don’t want abortion… that then becomes a form of ideological colonization,” she said in 2017.
Speaking at the second annual Lives Worthy of Respect event in 2018, Ekeocha said of Africa, “As a society, we love and welcome babies. Amidst our different difficulties and afflictions… our babies are always a firm sign of hope.” She added, “Abortion is a direct attack on human life and human dignity. This is why Africa rejects it.”
Abortion does not equal empowerment to millions of women around the world, and culturally, abortion is unthinkable for many women in Africa, according to Ekeocha. Funding organizations from wealthy countries — which convince women in Africa that abortion will somehow save them from poverty — is viewed as unethical and discriminatory by many.
The United States creates the most carbon emissions, not developing countries
Wealthy countries providing abortions for poor countries in order to stop or slow climate change is like the fire department spraying water on the house next to the one that’s actually on fire, as people in the non-burning house drown. The truth is that the majority of carbon emissions come from developed countries. According to the World Resource Institute, historically, over the last nearly two centuries, the United States has been the largest emitter of greenhouse gases (27 percent). The European Union came in at 25 percent and China is responsible for 17 percent of the emissions since the 1800s. In 2017 alone, China, having moved its way up the ladder as an industrial powerhouse, held the number one spot for carbon emissions and the United States came in second.
Those who support using taxpayer dollars to fund abortion in poor countries seem to be ignoring nations who have cars, cell phones, airplanes, factories, and more, and who are creating the most carbon emissions of any other nation, yet claim that the answer to climate change is to kill the children of people who have little to do with climate change or pollution.
Editor’s Note: This article was edited to include recent data on carbon emissions per country in 2017.
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