New Feminist Alliance Pushes “Woke” Politics, Pressures U.S. to Fund Abortion

By | August 19, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. August 20 (C-Fam) Three international pro-abortion organizations have merged in a new feminist alliance, rebranding their image to align with ascendant “woke” racial politics and setting their target firmly on influencing U.S. policy.

The three organizations joining together are International Planned Parenthood Federation Western Hemisphere Region (IPPFWHR), the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE), and the International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC).  All three have worked to advance “sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR),” including an international right to abortion, as well as controversial social issues like LGBTQ rights and “comprehensive sexuality education” around the world.

Central to this rebranding effort is a reframing of their work in light of the racial politics of the moment, emphasizing racial and sexual minority groups in line with “intersectional feminist principles.”  This move makes strategic sense for multiple reasons.

The U.S. under President Joe Biden has leaned heavily into promoting “woke” racial and sexual foreign policies, and despite Biden’s reticence to speak directly of abortion, his administration has worked to remove barriers to funding abortion-promoting groups, often in the name of gender and racial equity.

Like the international family planning partnership FP2030, which has also recently embraced “intersectionality” with an emphasis on race, sexual orientation, and gender identity, other longtime abortion advocates are gravitating toward where the current political energy—and funding—is.  Both the White House’s proposed budget and the House appropriations bill are calling for unprecedented funding for “gender equality” programs with an intersectional focus.

The pivot to “intersectionality” may be a desire to move past recent upheaval in several abortion advocacy groups in which employees belonging to racial minority groups complained of discriminatory treatment.  Last year, IWHC president Françoise Girard resigned after an investigation found a “pervading culture of fear and intimidation” that disproportionately affected minority staff members.  Around the same time, Katja Iversen, the president of  Women Deliver, also stepped down after similar complaints of racism and harassment within her organization.

An email by IPPFWHR announcing the merged organization discussed promoting SRHR, including abortion, throughout the global South, “including for the first time through sustained U.S. policy advocacy.”

Serra Sippel, formerly head of CHANGE and now the new group’s Chief Global Advocacy Officer, was interviewed in her new role where she advocated for legislation that would position the U.S. as the world’s largest exporter of abortion.  The Abortion is Healthcare Everywhere Act would permanently repeal the Helms Amendment that for decades has banned direct U.S. funding for abortion overseas, and the Global HER Act would permanently block the Mexico City Policy, which has prevented U.S. foreign assistance funding from going to foreign-based groups that promote or provide abortions.

Sippel said that she is “inspired and energized” by the recent liberalization of abortion laws in Argentina, Ecuador, and Mexico—referred to as the “Green Wave” due to the green bandanas worn by pro-abortion activists.  These bandanas have appeared at UN events, including a UNFPA-sponsored event during the Commission on the Status of Women earlier this year.

The new alliance has announced that it will reveal its new name and identity “over the coming months.”