EU Increases Abortion Funding, Demands Abortion Loyalty
WASHINGTON, D.C. February 18 (C-Fam) In recent months European governments have ratcheted up abortion funding and abortion pressure.
Even as the COVID pandemic raged across the world in 2020, European governments donated €2.6 billion to advancing “sexual and reproductive health and rights,” including abortion, around the world.
At the same time, European leaders have made it clear that opposition to abortion will not be tolerated among their own members. When Maltese politician Roberta Metsola was elected president of the European Parliament, she had to give assurances that she would promote the parliament’s position which she characterized as “unambiguous” in favor of abortion. Prior to that Metsola had been an outspoken pro-lifer.
The very next day, French President Emmanuel Macron called for the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights to be updated to include “recognition of the right to abortion.” This prompted the Catholic bishops of the EU to issue a statement reasserting that “there is no recognized right to abortion in European or international law.”
Some commentators expressed dismay at how “the new president’s convictions can quickly change due to the slightest pressure from the European left.” Meanwhile, staunch pro-abortion advocates were not appeased: feminist lecturer Claire Pierson wrote an editorial for CNN taking Metsola to task for defending Malta’s right to determine its own legislation on abortion.
“If Metsola is to stand by her claim of respecting the Parliament’s position on abortion then she must put forward decriminalization of abortion,” writes Pierson, “even in her home state of Malta.”
The position of the EU and its members on abortion has an outsized impact internationally, as many of the largest donors of foreign assistance belong to the EU. Countdown 2030 Europe, a coalition of organizations promoting universal “sexual and reproductive health and rights” (SRHR), issued a report showing record-high spending on abortion in 2020.
According to the report, European donors contributed €1.4 billion to “sexual and reproductive health” and family planning, as defined at the 1994 Cairo Conference on Population and Development. The Cairo conference made clear that abortion was not a human right and should never be used as a method of family planning. When the Countdown 2030 Europe expanded its analysis to include funding for LGBT, comprehensive sexuality education, and the promotion of “safe” abortion, EU spending ballooned to €2.6 billion.
The United Kingdom was the largest single-country donor in 2020, despite its contribution decreasing from 2019 levels. Other leading donors were Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. These overwhelmingly white and liberal societies spend most of their money targeting people of other races south of the equator.
To deflect accusations of what some, including Pope Francis, refer to as “ideological colonialism,” some leading European donors have shifted toward a model of heavily funding local organizations in developing countries that promote controversial issues like abortion and LGBT rights. Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United Kingdom fund grants for locally-based SRHR organizations in developing regions through a platform called Amplify Change, which proudly declares itself “one of the largest investors in safe abortion advocacy in the Global South.”
The coalition which produced the report includes the International Planned Parenthood Federation and several other pro-abortion organizations that directly benefit from funding for SRHR.