by Steven Ertelt
December 2, 2004
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Because the Bush administration has taken such a strong position against abortion and the use of tax money to perform or promote abortions abroad, a leading population control advocacy group is giving the U.S. a "C" rating on international health issues.
In a comprehensive study released today by Population Action International (PAI), the United States ranks 16th and receives a "C" on a list of 21 donor countries graded according to their
financial and political support for "reproductive health" issues such as abortion.
The study focuses on 21 nations that agreed to provide one-third of the funding needed for international efforts to focus on health issues such as AIDS, immunization, and maternal mortality.
According to the PAI study, the U.S. leads the word in funding such health initiatives with aid of $963 million in 2002.
In a recent speech at the United Nations, U.S. Ambassador Sichan Siv said the U.S. is the largest single donor of maternal health assistance, allocating $475 million annually over the last 4 years to that cause. The U.S. will have spent over $1.4 billion on "international health assistance" through 2008.
It’s the lack of political and financial support for abortion that causes the U.S. grade to plummet.
The pro-life position of the Bush administration, resulting in the defunding of the UNFPA, found to be complicit in China’s population control program of forced abortions and sterilizations, makes the U.S. subject to criticism from abortion advocates like PAI.
"In terms of policy, the Bush administration has undermined key international reproductive health programs, such as family planning," PAI said in a statement accompanying its report.
Yet, PAI admits that, "This report draws heavily on data provided by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)."
PAI also decried President Bush’s Mexico City Policy, preventing tax dollars from being given to groups that perform or promote abortions abroad, because it "led to the defunding of the International Planned Parenthood Federation" and the closure of IPFF "clinics in developing countries" that perform abortions.
PAI also blasted the Bush administration for its focus on abstinence education in international AIDS programs despite the fact that the U.S. will have committed an additional $15 billion to AIDS relief programs by 2008.
"U.S. HIV/AIDS efforts are also undercut by its increasing promotion of abstinence-only approaches," the group said.
Bu the U.S. stands behind its pro-abstinence policy.
"The promotion of behavior change — encouraging abstinence and fidelity — is integral to our fight against HIV/AIDS," Siv said in the UN speech.
It’s no surprise that nations that have some of the most pro-abortion laws appear at the top of the rankings.
The Netherlands, Denmark and Norway top the list while Spain, Austria and Portugal occupy the last three slots. Portugal’s pro-life laws prohibit performing most abortions.
The United Kingdom, Canada and Japan rank 7th, 10th and 13th, respectively.