Originally published in C-Fam
Church leaders in Africa brace themselves for increased threat to sanctity of life
President Joe Biden ordered the US State Department and the US Agency for International Development to fund the global abortion industry.
The new US president signed an executive order rescinding the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance Policy of his predecessor Donald J Trump yesterday afternoon, also known as the Mexico City Policy. The policy prevented foreign abortion industry groups from receiving US global health and family planning assistance.
The order also directs the US secretary of state to “withdraw co-sponsorship and signature from the Geneva Consensus Declaration,” a declaration of 35 countries that abortion is not an international human right signed by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in October 2020. And it restores funding to the UN Population Fund, an agency that promotes abortion and partners with China’s coercive family planning bureaucracy.
Biden’s order effectively forces US taxpayers to fund abortion giants International Planned Parenthood Federation, Marie Stopes International and hundreds of foreign groups that perform and promote abortion across the developing world, including by lobbying to repeal protections for the unborn.
“These abortion industry giants shamefully push their radical agenda on deeply pro-life nations and cultures,” SBA-List Vice President for Communications Mallory Quigley told the Friday Fax.
Anu Kumar, the head of abortion industry leader IPAS called it “a major step to expanding access to abortion services overseas” in an Op-Ed in Ms., an online feminist magazine. IPAS specialises in providing abortion equipment and designing health systems to deliver abortion.
In a press release yesterday morning, the White House announced that the order would protect and expand access to “comprehensive reproductive health care” and promote “sexual and reproductive health and rights” in the United States and globally. Both these terms are commonly used by the abortion industry in UN policies and programming to promote abortion.
Upon taking office, President Trump renamed, reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy to all global health including funding for HIV/AIDs.
The policy, first announced in 1984 by President Donald Reagan, forbids any group that performs or promotes abortion in family planning programs from receiving US foreign assistance. Presidents Bill Clinton and Barak Obama rescinded the policy upon taking office.
Trump reinstated the Mexico City Policy in his first full day in office. He also expanded the policy to cover all the roughly $9 billion in annual US foreign assistance for health, in recognition of how abortion industry groups had diversified their sources of funding. Previously, the policy only covered $600 million of US foreign assistance for family planning programmes abroad.
Trump’s policy was popular with the American people. According to a Marist Poll published on Tuesday, 77% of Americans either “oppose” or “strongly oppose” using tax dollars to support international abortion.
Trump’s policy was also overwhelmingly accepted by family planning and global health groups. Despite accusations that the policy disrupts access to family planning and global health, only eight of 1 340 prime grant recipients and 47 sub-recipients rejected the policy and declined US funding according to official reviews of the policy carried out by the US State Department and US Agency for International Development. These included abortion giants International Planned Parenthood Federation, Marie Stopes International, and their affiliates.
Even without the Mexico City Policy, a federal law, known as the Helms Amendment, prohibits the use of US funds to perform or promote abortion. But the law does not prevent abortion groups from receiving US funds to provide health care and family planning.
The Executive Order signed yesterday also directs the secretary for health and human Services to review any pro-life regulation put in place by the Trump administration for Title X programmes with a view to rescinding it.
Last Friday, on the 48th anniversary of the Roe v Wade ruling which legalised abortion in the US, Biden vowed that he is committed to back abortion with a codified federal law in the event the US Supreme Court overturns the ruling. More than 62 million lives have been lost in the country since the 1973 Roe v Wade ruling.
African church leaders fear pro-abortion, anti-Christian onslaught
Meanwhile, the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (Spuc) reports that Biden’s nomination of pro-abortion Samantha Jane Power to be the next head the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has prompted Church leaders in Africa to say that “more than ever before, agents and structures of evangelisation must be deployed to limit the damage to the sanctity of human life that seems already imminent in this appointment”.
Church leaders in Africa now expect a pro-abortion, anti-Christian “onslaught” to be headed by the incoming USAID leadership in the wake of Joe Biden’s nomination of Samantha Jane Power.
“People should at least know the truth”, said Bishop Emmanuel Badejo of Nigeria’s Oyo Diocese. “It is almost certain that the Church will suffer attacks for her opposing views”, referencing the Catholic Church’s pro-life stance.
“USAID will doubtlessly pursue an ideological and cultural onslaught against African religious and cultural values…”
“More than ever, Catholics in particular and Africans in general need awareness education so as to know what is really going on about the right to life and the gender ideological war.”
Bishop Badejo, who heads the Pan-African Episcopal Committee for Social Communication (CEPACS), has called on his fellow Africans to “refuse” the “poison” and offers of “harmful aids” that “will surely be tossed at needy countries” in return for surrendering to USAID’s renewed pro-abortion agenda under Biden.
“Pray, organise, communicate, and cooperate”, said Bishop Badejo.
Fr Bonaventure Luchidio, the National Director of the Pontifical Missionary Societies (PMS) in Kenya, responded similarly, highlighting the “unethical and immoral” implications of moving to “attach strings that cut through the moral fabric and conscience of people to a development and humanitarian aid”
A Spuc spokesperson said: “The way in which international aid is used by powerful Western nations to force an anti-life ethic on third world populations is not at least lost on Church leaders in Africa who seek to protect their flock from the moral blight of abortion that has beset the United States and elsewhere.
“The Trump administration at least provided Africa with a brief respite from the cynical ploys of foreign aid. Only a short time ago, USAID, under President Trump, censured the United Nations for using ‘crisis as an opportunity to advance access to abortion as an “essential service” during the COVID-19 pandemic’.
“As we can see, the choice of American president matters vastly for Africa’s unborn and whether USAID will be used for good or bad.
“We can expect further anti-life policies from Biden’s incoming administration, which is set to be the most pro-abortion presidency in history.”