A group of U.S. Senate Democrats wants to repeal a popular amendment that has protected taxpayers from being forced to pay for the killing of unborn babies in abortions overseas for nearly 50 years.
Forbes reports U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-New Jersey, introduced the pro-abortion legislation Wednesday, claiming that aborting unborn babies is “health care.”
His bill, the “Abortion Is Health Care Everywhere Act,” would get rid of the Helms Amendment, which has prohibited U.S. foreign aid from being used to pay for abortions in other countries since 1973. Other supporters include U.S. Sens. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Tina Smith of Minnesota and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut. Illinois Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky introduced the same bill last year in the U.S. House.
Schakowsky told Forbes that Democrats want “to make it clear that still, when it comes to foreign assistance to women, that the United States can be there for them.”
The legislation is unlikely to pass the divided U.S. Senate.
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Bans on taxpayer funding for abortions used to have strong bipartisan support in Congress and still have the support of a strong majority of Americans. In recent years, however, the Democratic Party has aligned itself closely with the billion-dollar abortion industry, and many Democrat lawmakers have shifted to extreme positions on the issue, supporting abortions for basically any reason through all nine months of pregnancy and taxpayer funding for abortions.
But most voters, including Democrats, oppose taxpayer funding for abortions. A Marist poll in January found that 73 percent of Americans oppose taxpayer funding for abortions overseas, including 55 percent of Democrats and 59 percent of people who call themselves “pro-choice.”
Pro-abortion groups are urging Congress to pass the legislation, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion research group, asserted that repealing the Helms Amendment would reduce maternal mortality by as many 17,000 deaths every year across the world, Forbes reports.
But new research refutes claims that legalizing abortions reduces maternal mortality and saves lives.
In a recent New York Times op-ed, British scholar David Albert Jones, a professor of bioethics at St. Mary’s University, Twickenham, and the director of the Anscombe Bioethics Institute in Oxford, wrote: “There is no significant difference in maternal mortality among countries in Europe on the basis of how restrictive their abortion laws are.” Jones pointed out that “Poland, which has one of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe, has the lowest rate of maternal mortality in Europe: only two deaths per 100,000 births.”
Another new study on maternal abortion deaths in Ethiopia found that women’s deaths to abortion already had been going down and did not drop significantly after the country legalized abortions in 2005. The study, “Legalisation of abortion and maternal mortality in Ethiopia,” was published in April in the Ethiopian Medical Journal.
“Rather than being a silver bullet to reduce deaths from abortion, abortion legalisation has resulted in a vast increase in the number of abortions, without any appreciable decrease in abortion mortality or maternal mortality,” wrote author Dr. Calum Miller, a British medical doctor and researcher at the University of Oxford.
Taxpayer funding for abortions will lead to more deaths, not fewer. More unborn babies would be killed at taxpayers’ expense when that money could be better used to improve maternal and infant health care, housing, food and other basic necessities for families in need across the world.
Estimates vary, but researchers say somewhere between 42.6 million and 73 million unborn babies are killed in abortions world-wide every year.