Calls to Obama to Change Helms Amendment Not about Rape Victims
Abortion advocates are exploiting victims of sexual violence in conflict to advance their own narrow agenda – opening up a new funding stream to international abortion groups and changing abortion laws in countries where restricted.
Global humanitarian groups receive hundreds of millions of dollars to help the most vulnerable – many in areas of conflict or regions that have had natural disasters. Most of these groups stay away from abortion.
One reason they do, is that many of these groups are faith-based organizations that deliver programs that address the most basic needs of the poor and victimized – food, shelter, and healthcare services. Other groups exclude abortion because they receive funding from the U.S. and the Helms amendment prohibits U.S. development aid to be used to promote or provide abortion. Though these organizations receive funding from many other sources most will not segregate funding — the World Health Organization being an exception.
The Helms amendment has successfully allowed faith-based groups to qualify for U.S. grant money to administer programs to the most vulnerable people in the world. By prohibiting overseas aid money from covering abortions it prevents limited funding from being siphoned from holistic healthcare programs that truly help poor women and children.
With an abortion-friendly president in the White House, abortion proponents are calling for President Obama to issue an executive order to gut the Helms amendment allowing abortion groups to be eligible to receive hundreds of millions of dollars more than they already do.
Last week so called “faith leaders” stepped up the anti-Helms rhetoric asking President Obama to make this change so the Boko Haram girls and other that have become pregnant through sexual violence may obtain US funded abortions. These same leaders are abortion advocates that have for years lobbied for unrestricted abortion – the kidnapping of the Boko Haram girls is a tragic opportunity to push their agenda.
Anti-Helms proponents imply that abortions aren’t available in developing countries. However, many African countries allow an exception for rape and many international clinics operate in these regions and provide abortion – Marie Stopes International, International Planned Parenthood Federation, and Doctors Without Borders. Additionally, several of USAID’s top vendors such as World Bank, World Health Organization, and Population Services International support programs involving abortion.
Abortion advocates reject the idea that victims of sexual violence who become pregnant want to keep their unborn children. On a recent trip to Nairobi I met a doctor providing care to unmarried pregnant girls by opening homes throughout the country. She shared a story about a young woman who escaped from the Congo where all her family had been killed. She was pregnant due to rape. When she delivered her very wanted son she announced he would be called – Victor, because he was the only remaining family she had.
This home offered her the assistance she desperately needed – safe shelter, pre-natal and post-natal medical care and healing from the trauma she experienced. Will abortion clinics provide the same?
If President Obama lifts the restrictions it is the poor in these conflict countries that will be most harmed. Charitable humanitarian groups that administer to sexual violence victims will be denied grants as they won’t be able to comply with grant guidelines that they offer abortion as a reproductive health service. And, more money will be directed to abortion groups that will use the funding not only to perform abortions but to agitate at the local level to change abortion laws.
President Obama and Democratic members of Congress have received large campaign donations from abortion rights groups calling for the end of the Helms amendment. This change will allow millions more to be channeled to their organizations and will lead to the United States soon becoming the largest abortion provider around the globe.