Sunday, September 8, 2019

2020 Democrats Back Funding Abortion Overseas With Taxpayer Dollars

Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
Several of the party’s 2020 candidates back repeal of the Helms Amendment, even though a recent poll found 75% of Americans oppose such funding.
As the 2020 Democratic presidential race heats up, many of the candidates have called for the repeal of a long-standing ban on the use of U.S. taxpayer funds for abortion overseas.
Seven of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates recently confirmed their opposition to the Helms Amendment, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Cory Booker of New Jersey, entrepreneur Andrew Yang, author Marianne Williamson and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke.
Permitting taxpayer dollars to fund abortions overseas also was included recently on the wish list of a coalition of abortion groups and was added to the Democratic Party platform in 2016.
The Helms Amendment, named for its author, the late Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., says that “no foreign assistance funds may be used to pay for the performance of abortion as a method of family planning or to motivate or coerce any person to practice abortions.” It was enacted as a permanent amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act of 1973 shortly after abortion was legalized in the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.
The amendment has long been attacked by abortion advocacy groups who petitioned the Obama administration to repeal the amendment or clarify that it does not apply in cases of rape or incest. In 2016, both Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., came out in opposition to the Helms Amendment after a major push from abortion activists to do so.
Sanders went further on the matter, with his campaign stating that as president he would sign an executive order permitting U.S. foreign-aid funds to go toward abortion services and repeal the Hyde Amendment’s domestic restriction on taxpayer-funded abortion.
“Sen. Sanders believes health care is a human right and reproductive care, including the right to abortion, is a fundamental part of health care,” a Sanders 2020 campaign representative commented. “As president, he will repeal the Trump administration’s global gag rule, which is a disgraceful assault on women’s rights and sign an executive order to allow for U.S. foreign aid to pay for abortions services. He will also work with Congress to permanently repeal both the Hyde and Helms Amendments.”
Among those candidates who have not commented on the Helms Amendment is former Vice President Joe Biden, who supported it in the past during his time in the Senate. Biden himself sponsored an amendment in 1981 that prohibited the use of foreign-aid funding in biomedical research involving abortion.
However, Biden’s recent reversal on the Hyde Amendment could be an indication of his latest stance on Helms. The majority of the 2020 Democrats have largely backed taxpayer-funded abortion by opposing the Hyde Amendment.
‘Needless Extremism’ --->
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