House Approves Bill Allowing President Obama to Promote International Abortions
by Steven Ertelt
June 11, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The House of Representatives on Wednesday approved a State Department funding bill that allows President Barack Obama to promote an international right to abortion. The vote came after House Democrats adopted rules for debate on the bill preventing a pro-life amendment stopping it.
Despite objections from several leading pro-life groups, the House voted for the Foreign Affairs Reauthorization Act (HR 2410) 235-187 and the measure now moves to the Senate for consideration.
The vote saw most Republicans and a handful of Democrats side with pro-life organizations against the bill and most Democrats and a handful of Republicans supporting it.
There, pro-life advocates may try a second time to get a vote on an amendment to make sure that the new Office of Womans Issues that President Obama has created is not used as a tool to promote abortions in other nations.
Responding to the vote, Americans United for Life president Charmaine Yoest said, "If this act becomes law, it will be a grave injustice to women around the world."
"Our elected representatives have no business using the diplomatic strong-arm of the United States to avidly promote abortion expansion overseas and undermine pro-life laws around the world. I call on the Senate to reject this proposal," she told LifeNews.com late Wednesday.
Pro-life groups pointed to a response from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a hearing by Foreign Affairs Committee members on April 22, where she admitted, We are now an administration that will protect the rights of women, including their rights to reproductive health care, and that reproductive health includes access to abortion.
She told Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey, you are entitled to advocate . . . anywhere in the world, and so are we.
During the committee consideration of the bill, the Foreign Affairs Committee rejected an amendment Smith offered to prevent the proposed new office from engaging in efforts to alter the laws of foreign nations governing abortion.
To stop the bill from creating a pro-abortion initiative, Smith planned to submit a similar amendment to the Rules Committee to see if House Democrats would allow a debate and vote on it, but they denied him that opportunity.
Several pro-life groups including AUL, National Right to Life and the Family Research Council told lawmakers they would take no position on the bill if the Smith amendment were adopted.
"But if the Smith amendment is not adopted, NRLC must oppose passage of H.R. 2410, because the bill will further empower the Obama Administration to pursue its agenda of undermining the pro-life laws of sovereign nations," National Right to Life said. "To the extent that the Administration succeeds in such efforts, it will greatly increase the number of abortions."
NRLC cited Stanley K. Henshaw, deputy director of research for the Alan Guttmacher Institute, who wrote in 1994 that "it is common after abortion is legalized for abortion rates to rise sharply for several years" after nations legalize abortion.
That, NRLC has said before, would go against President Obama’s so-called promise to reduce abortions as president.
ACTION: See how your House member voted by going here. Then, contact your member of Congress by going to https://www.house.gov and respond to their vote on the State Department bill and its pro-abortion provisions.
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