Why Biden Needs to Go Big on Abortion

To be a transformational president, Biden has to fight loud and hard against the Republican assault on reproductive rights.

by Emily Crockett
May 10, 2021

Many progressives found themselves pleasantly surprised with Joe Biden after his first 100 days in office. He’s willing to go big, embrace the legacy of FDR and LBJ, and pass trillions in investments on party-line votes if Republicans don’t offer real solutions. In his first joint address to Congress last month, Biden laid out his agenda and made an unapologetic, empathetic case for big solutions to big crises: not just the pandemic and economic collapse, but also climate change, gun violence, systemic racism, immigration, and more. From the well of the House, Biden proudly advocated for just about every progressive reform that his administration supports. Yet he was silent on one major issue: the decimated state of access to safe, legal, and affordable abortion and the Republican Party’s continually escalating efforts to make it worse.

Continued: https://washingtonmonthly.com/2021/05/10/why-biden-needs-to-go-big-on-abortion/


Biden urged to end US aid ‘abortion ban’

More than 140 rights groups call for repeal of 1973 Helms amendment widely misinterpreted as total ban on funding abortion services overseas

Liz Ford
Fri 30 Apr 2021

Joe Biden is being urged to clarify a longstanding US law restricting overseas aid that has been misinterpreted by successive administrations as an outright ban on funding abortion for any reason.

As the US president marked his first 100 days in office on Friday, more than 140 human rights and global health organisations, including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International US and the Global Justice Center, signed a letter asking him to confirm that US aid can be used for abortion care in cases of rape, incest and when the woman’s life is in danger.

Continued:  https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/apr/30/biden-urged-to-repeal-helms-amendment-allow-us-aid-fund-abortion


UK accused of ‘Trump tactics’ after ‘devastating’ £131m cut to family planning aid

Millions of the world’s poorest women and girls will ‘pay the price’ of the UK government reneging on its commitments, say aid workers

Kerry Cullinan
30 April 2021

The UK government has been accused of “using tactics reminiscent of the Trump era” after cutting millions in aid for family planning.

Boris Johnson’s government is set to slash its commitment to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) by 85% – from an expected contribution of £154m to just £23m – in an enormous blow for women and girls in the poorest countries where health services have already been decimated by COVID-19.

Continued: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/5050/uk-accused-of-trump-tactics-after-devastating-131m-cut-to-family-planning-aid/


Nigeria – Healthcare Givers Free To Access Global Funding With GAG Rule Repeal —PAI

By Sade Oguntola
On Apr 8, 2021

Following the withdrawal of the Global Gap rule by President Joe Biden, groups and stakeholders into reproductive and sexual reproductive health have been urged to come forward to access global funding for supporting provision of comprehensive health services for women in Nigeria.

Director, Policy and Advocacy at Population Action International (PAI,) Mr Jonathan Rucks, speaking at the virtual training for media practitioners on “Global Gag Rule Rescindment: Implications and Next Steps” by IPAS in collaboration with PAI stated that the four years of US President Donald Trump’s administration global gag rule had globally led to increase in the cases of unsafe abortion and poor health of women.

Continued: https://tribuneonlineng.com/healthcare-givers-free-to-access-global-funding-with-gag-rule-repeal-pai/


USA – The Best Way to Protect Abortion Rights Right Now Is to End a Racist, Classist Federal Budget Amendment

But will Biden do it?

MARCH 31, 2021
BECCA ANDREWS

Abortion advocates are finally on the offensive. Having barely made it through the last four years with Roe intact, the groups battling to protect the right to abortion can now, in theory, help set the agenda for their pro-choice president. And they are putting much of their energy into a single demand: End the ban on using federal funds for abortion care.

That ban, known as the Hyde Amendment, was passed by Congress in 1976 as an amendment to the federal budget. Thanks to Hyde, Medicaid health insurance can’t cover abortions—except in cases of rape, incest, or life endangerment—forcing low-income women to pay for abortions out of pocket. The amendment was the first major blow to abortion rights after Roe because it essentially cut off access to those who had always struggled to get care before the procedure was legalized.

Continued: https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2021/03/abortion-hyde-amendment-medicaid-biden-pro-choice/


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/


Kenyan Women’s Rights Groups Hail Lifting of US Abortion Funding ‘Gag Rule’

By Mohammed Yusuf
March 04, 2021

NAIROBI - Women's rights activists in Kenya have welcomed U.S. President Joe Biden’s order revoking the ban blocking U.S. funding to women’s health organizations that provide abortion or abortion-related services. Critics say the so-called gag rule left women uninformed about safe options to end a pregnancy. 

Forty-five-year-old Najma Wangoi lost her sister in 2018 after she bought medicine from a drug store to induce an abortion and it led to her death.  

Continued: https://www.voanews.com/africa/kenyan-womens-rights-groups-hail-lifting-us-abortion-funding-gag-rule


Healthcare providers in Kenya cautiously welcome removal of Global Gag rule

23 February 2021
Sarah Kimani,  SABCNews

Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare providers in Kenya have cautiously welcomed the removal of the Global Gag rule, an American policy that prohibits foreign non-governmental organisations (NGOs), who receive US global health assistance from facilitating or promoting abortion.

Also known as the Mexican City policy and first adopted by the then President Ronald Reagan’s administration in 1984, it has been repealed by every Democratic administration and reinstated by every Republican one since then.

Continued: https://www.sabcnews.com/sabcnews/healthcare-providers-in-kenya-cautiously-welcome-removal-of-global-gag-rule/


Argentina’s Abortion Legislation Sparks Hope in Caribbean

February 14, 2021
By Kate Chappell (IPS)

HAVANA TIMES – It was a joyful, tearful celebration in the early morning hours of Dec. 30, 2020 for countless Argentinians when they heard the news: the senate had legalized terminations up to 14 weeks of pregnancy. Prior to this, activists have said that more than 3,000 women died of botched, illegal abortions since 1983. And across the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region, this renewed sense of optimism was compounded after President Joe Biden rescinded what is known as the “global gag rule,” which essentially denied funding to international non-profit organizations that provided abortion counseling or referrals.

Now, women and campaigners across LAC are hopeful that these developments will spur lawmakers to consider decriminalizing abortion in their countries, sparing women their lives, economic well-being, dignity and access to a range of options to make the best choice for their reproductive and overall health.

Continued: https://havanatimes.org/features/argentinas-abortion-legislation-sparks-hope-in-caribbean/


Biden Wants More Stable Diplomacy. An Abortion Fight Is a Test

U.S. funding for overseas health providers that offer abortion services has vacillated with the changing of administrations for decades. Congress is debating whether to settle the policy by law.

By Lara Jakes
Feb. 11, 2021

WASHINGTON — As it reaches out to allies rattled by four years of erratic American diplomacy, the Biden administration wants to enlist Congress in advancing foreign policies that will withstand the whims of any single president.

An early test lies in the fate of what is known as the Mexico City policy.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/11/us/politics/biden-abortion-mexico-city-rule.html