Democrats Push Bill to Allow U.S. Aid to Fund Abortions Around the World

BY KHALEDA RAHMAN
7/27/22

The Supreme Court's historic decision to overturn Roe v. Wade was quickly felt around the country as states quickly moved to enact abortion bans.

But abortion rights advocates fear not enough attention is being given to how the impact of the decision will ripple around the world.

Continued: https://www.newsweek.com/democrats-push-bill-allow-us-aid-fund-abortions-world-1728338


Global abortion-rights advocates worry their countries are next if Roe falls

Activists said they spoke to officials not only about their fears of the international impact if Roe were to fall but also proposed changes to U.S. policy that has long restricted funding for abortions abroad.

By DANIEL PAYNE
06/15/2022

Abortion-rights advocates from around the world have met with congressional, USAID, HHS and State Department leaders to discuss worries that their countries will be next to see more restrictions if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.

In meetings last week, the activists said they spoke to officials not only about their fears of the international impact if Roe were to fall but also proposed changes to U.S. policy that has long restricted funding for abortions abroad.

Continued: https://www.politico.com/news/2022/06/15/global-abortion-rights-roe-00039654


Ukrainian Victims of Wartime Rape May Be Forced To Give Birth—All Thanks to This U.S. Policy

4/27/2022
by CHRISTINE RYAN

Seeking protection from Russian bombing and shelling amidst a siege of their city, thousands of civilians in Bucha bunkered down in subways and basements. But for some, the reprieve from artillery was not enough. For women and girls, there was no shelter from the sexual violence inflicted by Russian soldiers.

Rape, sexual slavery and forced pregnancy are among the war crimes reportedly suffered by women and girls in Bucha and in wider Ukraine. Yet, the cruelty endured by these victims does not end there. Thanks to U.S. policy, abortion may be unavailable to these women and girls.

Continued: https://msmagazine.com/2022/04/27/ukraine-war-rape-helms-amendment/


Biden’s Budget Keeps Campaign Promise but Neglects Global Commitments

6/4/2021
by BETHANY VAN KAMPEN

On May 28, President Biden fulfilled a critical campaign promise by submitting his budget without the Hyde Amendment for people enrolled in Medicaid, which for over 40 years has denied insurance coverage of abortion for people in the United States working to make ends meet. This is a historic step in the right direction and it was only made possible because of the critical leadership of women of color over the course of decades. Eliminating the Hyde Amendment from the presidential budget helps ensure that everyone in the U.S., no matter how much money they make, can make their own decisions about their future and health with dignity and respect.

Soon after he took office, President Biden committed to protect the
sexual and reproductive health and rights of people living in the U.S. and
abroad.  But by removing the Hyde
Amendment from his budget but leaving in the Helms Amendment, he kept only half
of that promise.

Continued: https://msmagazine.com/2021/06/04/biden-budget-helms-amendment-hyde-amendment-sexual-reproductive-health-rights/


Reproductive Rights Advocates Call for Biden to Curb Foreign Abortion Restrictions

5/5/2021
by MICHELLE ONELLO, Ms. Magazine

A coalition of over 140 reproductive rights and health care advocates is calling on President Biden to mitigate the harm caused by the over-implementation of U.S. foreign aid restrictions, especially the 50-year-old Helms Amendment, which has limited access to and information about abortion overseas.

In the April 29 letter, advocates highlighted
the direct harm these restrictions cause women, especially victims of
conflict-related sexual violence, and their violation of the U.S.’s human
rights obligations to ensure gender equality and non-discriminatory,
comprehensive health care. While these restrictions were enacted by Congress,
the coalition is advocating for the Biden administration to curb their impact
and support efforts currently underway to repeal them—both to fulfill his
stated policy of support for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR)
and to provide the same bold leadership on abortion that he has shown in other
areas such as climate change, jobs and infrastructure.

Continued: https://msmagazine.com/2021/05/05/reproductive-rights-biden-foreign-abortion-restrictions-helms-hyde/


Strickland Introduces Legislation To Protect Reproductive Health Rights Worldwide By Repealing the Harmful Helms Amendment

MARCH 11, 2021
BY CONGRESSWOMAN MARILYN STRICKLAND

In commemoration of International Women’s Day and during Women’s History Month, Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland (WA-10) introduced the Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act with Representatives Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Diana DeGette (D-CO), Norma Torres (D-CA) and over 140 original cosponsors.

This historic legislation would repeal the Helms Amendment, which attacks reproductive rights by banning the use of U.S. foreign assistance funds on abortion services overseas. Repealing the Helms Amendment is a critical step toward achieving reproductive and economic freedom and equity for millions worldwide. The Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act is supported and endorsed by a diverse coalition of more than 170 organizations.

Continued: https://thesubtimes.com/2021/03/11/strickland-introduces-legislation-to-protect-reproductive-health-rights-worldwide-by-repealing-the-harmful-helms-amendment/


Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Get Rid of Helms Amendment—’A Racist, Colonial Relic’

One analysis estimates the repeal would result in 19 million fewer unsafe abortions each year.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021
By Andrea Germanos, staff writer, Common Dreams

A group of pro-choice congresswomen launched a fresh bid this week to get rid of a policy that blocks U.S. foreign assistance funds from going to abortion care services and that its critics call a "stark example of neocolonialism."

Led by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), the group of lawmakers reintroduced on Tuesday the Abortion Is Health Care Everywhere Act, which would repeal the Helms Amendment.

Continued: https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/03/10/lawmakers-introduce-bill-get-rid-helms-amendment-racist-colonial-relic


In Hospitals Across Africa, A Lack Of Post-Abortion Care

March 9, 2021
PATRICK ADAMS

Some of Onikepe Owolabi's most vivid memories of medical school in her native Nigeria are of the teenage girls she saw in the emergency room of a rural hospital with complications from an unsafe abortion — painful infections that, if left untreated, can lead to permanent disability or even death.

Each time, Owolabi, now a senior research scientist with the Guttmacher Institute, a nonprofit reproductive rights organization in the U.S. that supports abortion rights, assisted doctors in promptly providing the girls with a group of essential obstetric services known collectively as "post-abortion care," or PAC.

Continued: https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2021/03/09/936206516/in-hospitals-across-africa-a-lack-of-post-abortion-care


‘You can’t just remove the damage of the last four years’

Reproductive rights groups cautiously welcome Biden's reversal of Trump's abortion access restrictions

By Kara Fox and Nicole Gaouette, CNN
Sat January 30, 2021

For more than four years, countries that rely on American foreign aid have been reeling from the profound impact that Donald Trump's reinstatement of the Mexico City policy has had on women.

The policy, known as the "global gag rule" among opponents, prevents non-government organizations that provide abortions, give counseling about abortions, or advocate for safe access to abortion from receiving US funding.

Continued: https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/30/world/biden-abortion-mexico-city-policy-intl/index.html


America must stop using international aid to export anti-abortion ideology

‘US policies have restricted access to comprehensive and often lifesaving, reproductive healthcare.’

Anu Kumar and Patty Skuster, Ipas
15 October 2020

At this moment in US political history, Americans have a chance to rid the United States of its contradictory, confusing, and ideologically driven approach to reproductive health around the world.

The United States is the largest donor to global health and humanitarian assistance. But for decades it has been a case study in contradictions when it comes to aid and foreign policy, and in no area is this more evident than reproductive health and rights, particularly abortion.

Continued: https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/opinion/2020/10/15/US-abortion-sexual-reproductive-health-aid