Protecting Life in Foreign Assistance

February 3, 2021

Madam President,

The whole point of American foreign aid is to assist countries in times of need, and in support of a common interest between them and us.

And yet, for many years our foreign aid dollars have been used to impose violent cultural imperialism… by promoting and providing for the practice of abortion.

Instead of helping to preserve, strengthen, and sustain the lives of women and children abroad, our taxpayer dollars have been used to harm women’s lives, and to end the lives of their unborn children… especially, baby girls.

In some of these countries, girls are disproportionately aborted precisely because they are female. U.S. aid is used not to affirm the equal dignity of women, but to violently deny it.

And in some of these countries, abortion is forced on women who don’t even want the abortions…

… women in countries like Vietnam and Peru, for instance, who were forced to endure the coercive abortion and sterilization campaigns of the 1990s, to name just a few examples.

Madam President, what kind of “aid” does violence to women and girls?

What kind of “help” is it to impose U.S. abortion extremism on countries that culturally and democratically reject it, or contribute to international organizations that allow regimes to use abortion as a tool of oppression?

And what kind of “progress” is it to encourage sex-selective abortion and the denigration of human dignity – for both the baby and the mother?

This cultural imperialism is not pro-woman. It is not pro-child. And it is not pro-healthcare.

It is pro-sexism, and pro-violence. And we must end it.

According to the latest Marist poll, the American people overwhelmingly agree. Nearly 60% of Americans oppose using tax dollars to pay for abortions; and more than 75% of Americans oppose using tax dollars to support abortions in other countries.

Thankfully, President Reagan first took steps to reverse this support in 1984, instituting the so-called “Mexico City Policy” to prohibit foreign aid from going to organizations that provide or promote abortions, or that advocate to change abortion laws in a foreign country.

Since then, the policy has unfortunately been rescinded and reinstated again and again between changing administrations.

Madam President, the lives of babies and the dignity of women are not political footballs.

Women and unborn children everywhere have immeasurable dignity and worth, regardless of where they are from.

And they ought to be entitled to the right to life and protection from harm – regardless of who is in office.

The Protecting Life in Foreign Assistance Act affirms this truth. This bill will permanently stop the use of our foreign aid money from funding or promoting abortions overseas.

I also defend and value women and babies everywhere by supporting two measures introduced by my friends, Senator Inhofe and Senator Blackburn.

Senator Inhofe’s bill, the Protecting Individuals with Down Syndrome Act, would affirm that disability does not determine or demean the dignity and worth of a human life.

And Senator Blackburn’s bill would ensure that taxpayer funds under the Title X Family Planning program do not go to any facility that performs or provides referrals for abortions.

In our laws, and through our lives, we ought to uphold the dignity of each and every human person – regardless of race, sex, appearance, abilities, or age.

The measures before us today do just that, and we should support them.