Democrat Lawmakers offer Abortion while the White House rolls out new Economic Empowerment Initiative for Women and Girls
Abortion rights lawmakers responded to President Trump’s pro-life statement in the State of the Union address by introducing a bill that would advance abortion throughout the developing world. In contrast the White House announced a new foreign policy initiative that will bring economic security to 50 million women by 2025.
Emboldened by a new abortion rights majority in the U.S. House of Representatives Congresswoman Nita Lowey and Senator Jeanne Shaheen re-introduced a bill that would permanently repeal the Mexico City Policy. This executive action instituted by Republican presidents since 1980 and rescinded by Democrats restricts foreign NGO’s from performing or promoting abortion to be eligible to receive U.S. grant money.
The Mexico City Policy had previously only applied to the approximately $700 million appropriated for Family Planning programs however due to abortion organizations becoming eligible for HIV/AIDs funding – over $6 billion annually through PEPFAR programs – President Trump expanded Mexico City Policy restrictions to most global health funding.
Under the Obama administration millions of dollars in U.S. funding was channeled to groups that promote abortion allowing groups like International Planned Parenthood Federation to expand to hundreds of affiliates now operating clinics throughout the developing world. While legislative restrictions prohibit US funds for abortion the funding allows organizations a foothold in regions where abortion is restricted. Once there these organizations lobby health ministers to decentralize abortion and change pro-life laws.
The text of “Global Health, Empowerment, and Rights (HER) Act” makes no mention of abortion and statements made by co-sponsoring lawmakers craftily spin the false narrative that the bill will improve healthcare for vulnerable women and families.
Since the expanded Mexico City Policy was implemented opponents, who dub the policy the global gag rule, repeatedly protest that healthcare delivery has been impacted due to clinics closing. However, all foreign non-government organizations remain eligible for U.S. funding if they pledge to give up performing or advocating for abortion. The State Department reported that only 4 organizations lost funding for refusal and that funding would be redirected to non-abortion clinics in the same region.
The same day Democratic lawmakers were promoting renewed funding for international abortion providers as a means to achieve the socioeconomic wellbeing of women and girls, President Trump signed a memorandum to launch the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative, or “W-GDP.”
Spearheaded by Ivanka Trump the women’s economic initiative pledges $50 million in initial funding toward helping vulnerable women and girls achieve economic security. The initiative implementation will fall to the U.S. Agency for International Development and will partner with private companies that include Pepsi, UPS and Walmart.
The White House announced three areas of focus or “pillars” to guide initiative programming — (1) workforce development and skills training, (2) entrepreneurship and access to capital, markets, and networks and (3) addressing the factors that affect women’s ability to reach their economic potential, including applicable laws, regulations, policies, practices, and norms.
“This new initiative will for the first time coordinate America’s commitment to one of the most undervalued resources in the developing world – the talent, ambition and genius of women,” wrote Ivanka in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal.