(Washington) On Thursday, the new US President Joe Biden authorized the United States again to fund foreign organizations that provide or promote abortion services, which is a cautious first step in this mined area.
On the eve of the annual mobilization of anti-abortion activists, the Democrat repealed “Mexico’s law” that prohibited the provision of federal funds to any international NGO that provides, even if it is advice, on voluntary termination of pregnancy (IVG).
A political milestone for decades, this rule was introduced by the Republican administration of Ronald Reagan, repealed by every Democratic president and reinstated by every Republican.
According to a government report, it had an impact on 1,300 international projects in 2018 and forced NGOs that year to forgo more than $ 150 million or their abortion activities.
By the same token, the president has ordered the resumption of US funding to the United Nations Population Fund, which works specifically in the area of family planning. Once again, every Republican administration since Ronald Reagan has impeached him.
Head of Diplomacy Anthony Blinken immediately announced the release of $ 32.5 million earmarked for this UN agency.
Its Secretary-General, António Guterres, hailed the two resolutions, which “strongly remind women and girls around the world that their rights are important”.
Women’s rights groups also said they were “pleased” to see the disappearance of Mexico’s rule, a “cruel and neocolonial” measure, according to Serra Seibel, head of the Center for Health and Gender Equality (Change).
But Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has criticized “financing abortions abroad with taxpayer money” that “tramples their conscience” and contravenes promises of unity, he says.
Abortion has been legal across the United States since the Supreme Court ruling in 1973, but it still severely divides the American population, as opposition remains very strong in religious circles.
Like every year on the anniversary of this historic station, abortion opponents planned to hear them on Friday. But the epidemic must be their “virtual march”, in contrast to last year’s march in which Donald Trump participated.
In time for a woman’s right to choose an abortion, the Republican billionaire defeated voters on the religious right by pretending to be a fierce opponent of abortion.
To satisfy them, his administration rejected “Mexico Base” nationally, by requiring family planning centers to physically distinguish between gynecological and abortion counseling, for fear of losing federal funds. A quarter of these buildings were punished.
In his memoir, Joe Biden takes this matter with caution. It orders “to examine whether it is necessary to suspend, review, cancel or open these regulations for discussion.”
The text also says nothing about the “Hyde Amendment”, which bans the use of federal funds to offset most abortions, although Joe Biden promised during his campaign to cancel it.
By initializing the document, the president also adopted an understated style. “We are not doing anything new,” he insisted, in front of the cameras, taking care not to use the word abortion.
During her first press conference, White House spokeswoman Jane Psaki was asked about the new president’s intentions on the subject: “He is a devout Catholic who goes to church regularly,” she answered without saying more.
Despite the clergy’s opposition to abortion, Joe Biden openly supports a woman’s right to abortion, according to the positions of the majority of his electorate. But it didn’t make it a big topic in his campaign.
Therefore, the associations that defend this right are extremely vigilant towards the future. Herminia Palacio, president of the Guttmacher Institute, said her announcements were “very important first steps, but the administration must go further.”