Trump’s Election Triggers Pro-Abortion Fears Globally
Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Pro-abortion activists and organizations across the globe are still recovering from the aftershocks of the election of Donald Trump, who campaigned on a pro-life platform, and whose nominations for key cabinet positions embrace individuals who are committed to the pro-life position including Vice-President elect Mike Pence, Attorney General nominee Senator Jeff Sessions, Governor Nikki Haley as Trump’s nominee for United Nations Ambassador, Congressman Tom Price to head the department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Dr  Ben Carson to oversee the department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Betsy DeVos to lead the Department of Education and Congressman Mick Mulvaney to head the Office of Budget and Management (OBM).

Abortion-advancing activists had been strategizing on ways they could work with what they expected would be the uber friendly pro-abortion administration of Hillary Clinton to push international access to abortion but now face the reality of life under a pro-life U.S. administration. In contrast, advocates for the unborn are celebrating in the U.S. and around the world anticipating the pro-life actions that President Trump will undertake in the U.S., at the United Nations and abroad.

The most pressing concern of abortion-minded NGOs is funding. Expectations are high that President Trump will restore the U.S. ban on funding to foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that perform or promote abortion and refuse to stop these activities as a condition of receiving US funding. Foremost of the foreign NGOs that have previously lost funding under the Mexico City Policy are International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and Marie Stopes International (MSI); both operate affiliates in a large number of countries with pro-life laws and restrictions.

This month the pro-abortion European Parliamentary Forum on Population & Development (EPF) documented Official Development Assistance (ODA) for population control programs and for programs that include “reproductive health” in Euromapping 2016.

It reports that for the years 2011-14 the U.S. was the leading donor. The introduction expresses concern about the impact of the election on U.S. contributions: “…the very recent political developments in the United States (US) pose a threat. It is very likely that the incoming US administration, the individual leading donor in ODA, RMNCAH [Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health], and FP [Family Planning], will follow the pattern of previous Republican administrations, one that is hostile towards Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) in general, and which will withdraw financial and political support for RMNCAH and FP in US development policies.”

An article in The Guardian—US aid for women’s sexual health worldwide under threat— states, “Under Trump, campaigners say, $600m in aid could be ‘cut drastically’….as they predict return to anti-abortion stance on health funding.” Suzanne Ehlers, president and CEO of PAI, is mentioned as stating that she is most fearful of the loss of the US’s position as the world’s most generous bilateral donor supporting reproductive health rights – with current funding at $600m.

She is quoted as saying, “Reagan wanted to bring it down to zero. In Trump, we have the kind of president who wouldn’t be afraid of that kind of budget request and Republicans in Congress who would support him in that. Every year Congress has to approve these levels, and that funding can be cut drastically.

Pro-abortion NGOs lobbying at the U.N. and around the world are bracing for the impact of the Trump administration’s pro-life policies. IWHC (International Women’s Health Coalition), states in the article What Does President Trump Mean for Sexual and Reproductive Rights at the UN?:

Trump’s stated desire to restrict access to safe, legal abortion services, combined with the most regressive Republican Party platform on sexual and reproductive rights, spell disaster. Trump has put together an anti-choice council to advise him…Trump’s repudiation of multilateralism means that, at best, the US will no longer prioritize critical global agreements, like the Sustainable Development Goals.”

US funding for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is also considered to be at risk as are US policies related to abortion and the broad agenda of “sexual and reproductive health and rights” that the current US Mission to the United Nations works hard to advance.

The Secretary of the European Parliamentary Forum on Population & Development, Neil Datta, writing in Possible Impact of a Trump Presidency on Global SRHR predicts:

·         By the end of January 2017, the US might stop funding IPPF by President Trump signing what is known as the ‘Global Gag Rule’ (GGR). The GGR (also known as the ‘Mexico City Policy’ because it was first signed into law by President Reagan in Mexico City in 1984) prevents any US funding from going to any organization that is involved in any abortion-related activity, even if financially supported by other donors. Any abortion-related activity can include referrals and information about abortion and not necessarily involve providing abortion services. In addition, within a few months, funding to UNFPA is likely to be cut.

·         “Moreover, the US will likely develop an aggressive and proactive diplomatic strategy against SRHR and women’s rights by trying to undermine SRHR language in UN settings. The first cases where this may happen are the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in March 2017 and the Commission on Population and Development (CPD) in April 2017 and any other UN settings where these issues may appear.

·         “All in all, there is likely to be an increase in the dissemination of anti-choice initiatives coming from the US to the rest of the world. Eight years ago it came in the form of ‘abstinence-only’ education for HIV/AIDS prevention and was generously funded by USAID through religious groups.

·         “And to conclude, there is likely to be a retreat of USAID from global efforts to improve SRHR in developing countries, both in its bilateral aid as well as in its multi-lateral aid. In addition to cutting UNFPA funding, the involvement of the US in FP2020 and the Ouagadougou Partnership (which both aim to provide family planning in developing countries) will be uncertain.”

If these predictions come true, and we believe that they will, pro-life advocates around the world will be rejoicing as the US for the first time in eight long years will not be seeking to impose its agenda on countries that receive US assistance.