Now is the time for President Biden to act—to do everything in this administration’s power in increase access to abortion at home and abroad. That starts today with the President Bidens’s 2024 budget being free of all abortion funding and coverage restrictions, including the Hyde, Helms and Weldon Amendments.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which ruled that there is no U.S. constitutional right to abortion, will have ripple effects around the world. It will embolden anti-abortion movements abroad, contribute to global stigmatization of abortion, cause confusion for policy implementation and open the door for new restrictions—all of which will negatively impact the health, economic resources and well-being of women throughout the world.
World population is projected to cross 8 billion on Nov. 15, 2022. We must take the opportunity to discuss the undeniable consequences of rapid population growth, while maintaining a dedication to human rights and bodily autonomy.
Overturning Roe v. Wade will unleash devastating rollbacks on abortion across the United States, while also impacting U.S. foreign policy. Already, the Helms Amendment, Siljander Amendment, global gag rule and other restrictions form a collective—and deadly—U.S. foreign policy package that has had disastrous impacts on global health, including an increase in maternal mortality, unsafe abortions and HIV infections, as well as a decline in the overall quality of healthcare.
While the forthcoming decision, and its catastrophic fallout, is not likely to have an immediate global impact, it will undercut efforts to remove these restrictions and embolden the anti-abortion lobby to further instrumentalize U.S. foreign policy to promote its ideology.
Because the Ukrainian health system is drastically strained, international humanitarian aid is playing an outsized role in delivering healthcare throughout the country. But all humanitarian aid provided by the U.S.—the largest single-country donor of humanitarian assistance to Ukraine—is subject to the Helms Amendment, which limits the use of U.S. foreign assistance funds for abortion. In this way, rather than alleviating their suffering, U.S. aid could be the reason that victims of wartime rape are denied abortions and forced to give birth.
Any lawmaker serious about their solidarity with Ukraine should commit to a full repeal of the Helms Amendment.
Last month, the Supreme Court of the United States heard arguments in a case that could set off a new era of abortion bans across much of the country. December also marked the start of President Biden’s Democracy Summit.
Yes, the U.S. faces an unprecedented crisis for the right to abortion. Before its next Democracy Summit, the Biden administration should make a real commitment to ending all anti-abortion policies that cause the U.S. to fall short of its democratic aspirations.
As leaders from around the world gather in New York for the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly to discuss urgent problems, the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has a message for the United States: New abortion restrictions in Texas violate women’s fundamental rights.
Reproductive rights champions in the House finally removed regressive anti-choice policies that disproportionately harm women, girls, LGBTQ people and others who already face systemic barriers to equal health care, and which polls show are not supported by a majority of U.S. voters.
On the evening of July 28, the House of Representatives adopted a State Department, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2022 that includes a multitude of funding and policy provisions that would be tremendous advancements for global sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) if enacted into law.
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.