Joe Biden Becomes First U.S. President to Back Abortion as International Human Right
WASHINGTON, D.C., October 1 (C-Fam) The Biden administration has endorsed a Democrat bill that declares abortion is an international human right. This makes Biden the first U.S. President ever to do so.
The White House released a statement “strongly” supporting the “Women’s Health Protection Act of 2021” last week. The bill, HR 3755, follows the recommendations of UN bureaucrats and includes language that elevates abortion as an international human right.
The bill reads, “International human rights law recognizes that access to abortion is intrinsically linked to the rights to life, health, equality and non-discrimination, privacy, and freedom from ill-treatment.”
The bill cites the opinions of UN human rights experts who “have found that legal abortion services, like other reproductive health care services, must be available, accessible, affordable, acceptable, and of good quality.”
Biden’s Democratic predecessors in the White House, Barak Obama and Bill Clinton, both supported access to abortion as a policy matter both at home and abroad, including through support for international policies on “reproductive health.”
Obama Secretary of State Hillary Clinton famously said, “reproductive health includes abortion.”
Both the Clinton and Obama administrations rejected any international obligation to allow or fund abortion.
At the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development the Clinton Administration noted how U.S. Supreme Court jurisprudence established a constitutional right to abortion in the United States but denied that it was an international right.
The U.S. delegation to the Conference, led by then Vice-President Al Gore, categorically stated that “the United States does not seek to establish a new international right to abortion, and we do not believe that abortion should be encouraged as a method of family planning.”
The same statement emphasized that “policy-making in these matters should be the province of each Government, within the context of its own laws and national circumstances.”
Along similar lines, the Obama administration rejected suggestions that the Helms amendment and other U.S. restrictions on abortion funding internationally were in violation of U.S. human rights obligations.
When U.S. allies in the Human Rights Council pressed the Obama administration on this matter at the Human Rights Council in 2011 and 2015, the administration merely “took note” of these recommendations, effectively rejecting the notion that the U.S. has an obligation to fund abortion internationally. Since then, the Biden administration has welcomed similar recommendations.
The bill passed the Democrat controlled House of Representatives by a vote of 218-211, but it is not expected to progress in the Senate. The bill would protect the abortion industry from attempts to regulate and restrict abortion at the State level. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi scrambled to propose the bill in reaction to a Texas law that would restrict abortions after a heartbeat is detected in an unborn child.
The Biden administration has instructed the recently formed Gender Policy Council and Office of the White House Counsel to coordinate a whole of government response to the Texas law. The Gender Policy Council has been officially designated by the Biden Administration as the point of contact for the abortion industry within the U.S. government.