International Abortion Groups Demand a Cut of Climate Funding
WASHINGTON, D.C. September 3 (C-Fam) Abortion providers and other family planning NGOs are demanding funding designated for addressing climate issues, asserting that climate change impacts women’s sexual and reproductive health.
In a recent letter to Alok Sharma, president of the UN Cop26 climate conference, a coalition of more than sixty organizations, asked the United Kingdom to change its funding eligibility rules to allow projects concerned with reproductive healthcare and girls’ education to access funds reserved for addressing climate change.
“Billions are allocated now to climate financing, adaptation and resilience. We’re hearing loud and clear from communities and women and our clients who are most affected by climate crisis that what they really want is access to reproductive healthcare, so that they can make choices about when or whether they have children,” said Bethan Cobley, a director of abortion giant MSI Reproductive choices, formerly Marie Stopes International.
The letter is likely an effort to make up for the deficit in funds for sexual and reproductive health due to the UK’s cuts to its foreign aid budget earlier this year. However, this is not the first-time abortion advocates have lobbied for funds from a seemingly unrelated source. Abortion advocates have successfully integrated into other sectors, including funding for HIV/AIDS and LGBT rights.
Now, abortion and family planning advocates claim that climate change is intrinsically related to women’s health. The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) says that creating “climate resilience,” necessarily includes an empowered population whose sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights are addressed and fulfilled.”
“From increased risk of unintended pregnancy to dropping out of school, the communities we work with tell us they are already seeing how climate change impacts them, and that they see the connections between their health and the health of their local environment,” said David Johnson, chief executive of the Margaret Pyke Trust.
According to UNFPA, climate change leads to more gender-based violence and that weather extremes attributed to climate change leads to crop failure and food insecurity which results in an increase in child marriages and prostitution, thereby creating an increased need for family planning.
In the past, concerns about threats to the environment from overpopulation led to draconian and coercive population control policies. While the modern family planning movement denounces those tactics, the current climate change discourse has emboldened advocates for fertility control to speak out once more.
Claiming that climate change is a public health issue, activists argue that climate-linked emergencies are becoming more frequent, which may mean less money for services like abortion and family planning.
Yet, the pot of climate funding continues to grow. The U.S. has moved to increase overseas aid to address climate change. House Democrats recently advanced a State and Foreign Operations bill which included $1.6 billion for the Green Climate Fund, an international funding mechanism established to battle the effects of climate change. For the first time in over forty years the overseas funding bill does not contain pro-life safeguards, including the Helms Amendment.
In January 2021, President Biden issued an executive order on climate, which included the creation of the Office of Climate Change and Health Equity that will be managed by the Department of Health and Human Services. The new office’s mandate is “to protect the health of people experiencing a disproportionate share of climate impacts and health iniquities from wildfires and drought, to hurricanes to floods,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra.
The global abortion movement, which relies heavily on government aid, is positioning itself to take full advantage.