Abortion supporters in the House led by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) have re-introduced the Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act, which would repeal the Helms Amendment and allow American taxpayer dollars to fund abortions in other countries. The Act had previously been introduced in 2020.
The Helms Amendment was passed in 1973 and since then has restricted international funding from the U.S. Foreign Assistance from being used to pay for international abortions. In one of his first moves as President, Joe Biden rescinded the Mexico City Policy, which had blocked the U.S. funding of foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that commit or refer for abortions. Repealing the Helms Amendment would take that a step further and allow U.S. funding to directly pay for abortions overseas. (The Hyde Amendment, also under attack from abortion supporters in Congress and President Biden, prevents federal taxpayers from funding abortion within the United States.)
Abortion is not health care
Despite the misleading name of the bill, abortion is not health care, regardless of where it takes place. Abortion is the direct and intentional killing of a preborn human being. There is no point in pregnancy when intentionally killing the child is necessary to save a woman’s life or health.
According to neonatologist Dr. Kendra Kolb, M.D., the most life-threatening complications for the mother do not usually occur until 24 weeks of pregnancy or later. Today, babies born as young as 21 weeks can survive outside the womb if given proper medical care. Any physical health complications a pregnant woman faces can be closely monitored and if her situation is to become dire, an emergency C-section is the safest course of action. A C-section takes minutes, while a late-term abortion takes about three days. Delivering a baby early to save the life of the mother is not an abortion. (For more information on why ectopic pregnancy treatment is also not an abortion, read this.)
In addition, abortion is not a treatment for any diagnosis that a preborn child receives. Telling a mother that her baby is better off dead is not health care.
77% of Americans are against funding abortions in other countries
A January 2021 Knights of Columbus/Marist Poll revealed that the majority of Americans opposed the funding of overseas abortions. The poll showed that 77% of Americans, including 64% of those who consider themselves pro-choice and 55% of Democrats, do not want the United States to fund international abortions. Yet, abortion supporters in Congress are completely ignoring this fact and moving forward with their mission to force Americans to pay for international abortions.
Funding abortions in poor nations is eugenics
While supporters of the Abortion is Health Care Everywhere bill claim the Helms Amendment is racist, the opposite is true. Paying for women in third-world nations to abort their children is not the same as providing them with health care or supplies such as clean water. In fact, many of these nations are pro-life and do not want abortion legalized in their country.
Obianuju Ekeocha, Founder and President of Culture of Life Africa, has said that those in the Western world who believe African women “need” abortion, “better be careful” with such “colonial talk.”
“If we’re talking about abortion, well, 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 explained.
At the Lives Worthy of Respect event at Georgetown University, Ekeocha further noted that the people of Africa are concerned about the unmet demands of the continent, such as the need for affordable food, clean water, true health care, and education, rather than the Western world’s offered “solutions” of abortion and contraception.
Without the Helms Amendment, American taxpayers will be paying for women in these nations to be pressured into abortions they don’t want, because it’s cheaper than providing them with health care throughout their pregnancy.
Those who support the repeal of the Helms Amendment believe that if the U.S. funds overseas abortions that abortions will be safe, but this can never be true. Abortion always leaves a child dead and a mother emotionally wounded for possibly the rest of her life with increased risks of alcohol and drug use, depression, and suicidal thoughts.
Abortion is a human rights tragedy. Legalizing and funding it will never make it ethical or acceptable.
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