by Steven Ertelt
February 6, 2006
London, England (LifeNews.com) — In a move designed to counter U.S. policy that prohibits taxpayer funding of groups that perform or promote abortions in other nations, Britain announced on Monday that it will spend $5.3 million in public funds to support such groups. It called on other nations to step up their abortion funding as well.
The United States has stopped funding pro-abortion groups following President Bush’s election in 2000. On his first day in office, he reinstituted that Mexico City Policy, which forbids the use of taxpayer dollars for international abortions.
President Clinton scraped the policy during his administration, which President Reagan created in 1984 and continued under the first President Bush.
The International Planned Parenthood Federation, one of the groups that is denied funds under President Bush’s executive order, told Reuters it applauded Britain’s move.
"It is a big boost for us, politically and philosophically, that a sovereign government is prepared to stand up and say ‘we support what the IPPF is trying to do to expand the availability of safe and legal abortions around the world,"’ IPPF Director General Steven Sinding said.
Gareth Thomas, a minister at the British Department for International Development told Reuters he hopes other nations like Canada and the Netherlands will spend tax money on the abortions as well.
"I would urge other donors to follow our lead," he said.
Canada may be unlikely to do so given the its recent elections, which toppled the pro-abortion Liberal government and replaced it with a Conservative government that will be less likely to promote abortion.
Pia de Solenni, director of life and women’s issues for the Family Research Council, told Focus on the Family, says third world nations have more important worries than making sure women can have abortions.
"If we are talking about developing countries that have problems, their issues are issues of internal development, economic structure, and education," she said. "And abortion doesn’t really play into that, on top of the fact that it is the destruction of an innocent human life."
The British funding will also support Marie Stopes International, a British-based abortion business.
Applauded by pro-life organizations, the Bush policy, which covered the USAID program, was later expanded to include foreign aid funding all State Department programs.
President Bush has repeatedly threatened to veto any legislation with a provision overturning the policy.