It’s not often you can count on politicians to keep their promises, but this is one you can probably take to the bank. Or, in this case, politicians will take money from your bank, in the form of taxes, and use them to pay for abortions.
Both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have promised to make Americans pay for more abortions – in this case abortions on babies in other countries. They are promising to either repeal or modify the Helms Amendment, which prohibits the use of foreign assistance funds for abortions as a method of family planning.
Both Clinton and Sanders have promised to reinterpret the Helms Amendment in a way that will fund more abortions:
Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) have both promised that their administrations would reinterpret the Helms Amendment, a long-standing U.S. policy that blocks abortion funds for women raped in conflict and in developing countries. Clinton promised the policy would include exceptions for rape, incest and protecting the life of the mother. Sanders went a step further and said he would push to repeal it altogether.
An activist from reproductive rights group Population Connection Action Fund ambushed Clinton at a campaign event in late January and asked whether she would fix Helms, which bans all U.S. foreign aid money from being used to pay for abortion care for any reason. “Oh yeah, yeah, yeah,” Clinton replied in the video, which was provided to The Huffington Post. “I’m on record on that.”
Sanders’ campaign made an even bigger promise on Thursday, telling HuffPost in a statement that he would not only use executive action to reinterpret Helms, but would push to get rid of it altogether. “Sen. Sanders is opposed to the Helms amendment,” said Arianna Jones, the senator’s deputy communications director. “As president, he will sign an executive order to allow for U.S. foreign aid to pay for abortions in cases of rape, incest or when the life of the woman is at risk. He will also work with Congress to permanently repeal both the Hyde and Helms amendments.” The Hyde Amendment prevents federal money from being used for abortion domestically, with those three exceptions.
This is not the first time Clinton promised to make taxpayer fund abortions overseas.
In November, she said wants the U.S. to start paying for women to abort their babies around the world.
A woman who identified herself as a police officer asked Clinton about her position on the Helms Amendment and the funding of abortions for victims overseas who have been raped by ISIS, according to CNN.
Though Clinton did not explicitly say she wants to get rid of the Helms Amendment, she did push for abortion funding for women across the world.
Clinton said that if the U.S. will not directly fund women’s abortions overseas, “then we have to help them in every other way and to get other people to at least provide the options.”
“I do think we have to take a look at this for conflict zones,” Clinton said. “And if the United States government, because of very strong feelings against it, maintains our prohibition, then we are going to have to work through non-profit groups and work with other counties to…provide the support and medical care that a lot of these women need.”
Clinton also assumed that the victims would want abortions, rather than support for themselves and their babies: “They will be total outcasts if they have the child of a terrorist or the child of a militia member. Their families won’t take them, their communities won’t take them.”
At another point in the meeting, Clinton said, “I am pro-choice and I am because I have over many years thought that it’s best to leave this very difficult decision to an individual woman, her faith, her family, her physician.”
But Rebecca Kiessling, a pro-life attorney who was conceived in rape, told LifeNews that forcing Americans to pay for abortions would just victimize women in conflict areas a second time.
“Rape victim mothers need real help, not abortion,” Kiessling said. “Justice is served by punishing the perpetrator, not the innocent child. Nobel Peace Prize nominee Dr. Mukwege of Panzi Hospital in the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo has the right solution — providing care for rape victims, counseling, job training, and even child care for their children conceived in rape.”
The international pro-life group C-FAM agrees and it has said previously “international humanitarian law does not establish a right to abortion in cases of rape in conflict situations.” The group points out that abortions in unsanitary conflict situations would place the mother to increased health risks, and that abortion funding will divert greatly needed funds from other more pressing areas including basic medical care.
The group points out that giving a rape exception to the ban on abortion funding will further stigmatize and therefore harm children born of rape who are already vulnerable.