One of the aims of American foreign aid is to assist countries in times of need. This spirit exemplifies a trait Americans and Utahns rightfully value, that of giving to those in need.
And yet, for many years our foreign aid dollars in support of abortion have been used to impose violent cultural imperialism.
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 couple examples.
Mr./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?
U.S. advocacy abroad for the taking of an innocent, unborn life 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 recent polling, 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 “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Since then, the policy has unfortunately been rescinded and reinstated again and again between changing administrations.
Another policy, that used to have lasting support is the Hyde Amendment. This legal provision prohibited the use of federal funds to pay for abortion with a set of exceptions. Recently, Democrats have abandoned this bipartisan position and have placed the Hyde amendment under threat. It too could become a back-and-forth ping-pong policy depending on who holds majorities in Congress.
Mr./ 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 are 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.
In our laws, and through our lives, we must uphold the dignity of each and every human person – regardless of race, sex, appearance, abilities, or age.
The measure before us today does just that, and I urge my colleagues to support it. The lives of millions of women and children depend on it.