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A ploy for expanded abortion

Katelyn Walls Shelton | The “National Gender Strategy” isn’t as benign as it first appears


Jennifer Klein, co-chair of the Biden administration's Gender Policy Council, speaks to reporters. Associated Press/Photo by Patrick Semansky

A ploy for expanded abortion
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The White House recently released the first-ever National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality “to advance the rights and opportunities of women and girls across the world.” The strategy was written and released by the White House Gender Policy Council. The council is the first of its kind and it is high-profile—President Biden and Vice President Harris penned a joint letter at the introduction of the Strategy, and the Council itself was created by Executive Order of the president.

The 42-page manifesto is not just about domestic policy but global influence as well. While much of the strategy is benign, its radical emphasis on abortion at all costs reveals a rift in American politics that plunges much deeper than a mere disagreement on policy issues. This controversy reveals a chasm between what Americans on either side of the aisle conceive of as a moral good.

In fact, some statements in the strategy sound like they could have come from a purpose statement from an evangelical missions board: “At home and around the world, we are committed to ensuring that every individual is valued for their contributions in all fields, from classrooms to boardrooms; from sports fields to factory floors; from academia to the arts.” The Christian agrees heartily—we can and should treat every human being with the inherent dignity and respect with which God has endowed them. This strategy, in its own way, attempts to do that, even going so far as saying that “ensuring all people have the opportunity to live up to their full potential” is a “moral imperative.”

It’s obvious that the authors present their intention as doing good. If only it were that simple. What quickly becomes apparent is that the authors’ conception of the good is, in fact, the opposite of good—a smokescreen for further extending abortion on demand, both at home and abroad.

The most glaring example is the strategy’s emphasis on sexual and reproductive health and rights which by their definition includes abortion. A White House Fact Sheet on the National Gender Strategy says the strategy aims to “protect, improve, and expand access to health care,” and as such, it will “defend the constitutional right to safe and legal abortion in the United States, established in Roe v. Wade, and promote access to sexual and reproductive health and rights both at home and abroad.”

Domestically, the strategy also takes aim at the Texas heartbeat law (Senate Bill 8), and seeks to repeal the Hyde Amendment. While protecting Roe and repealing the Texas heartbeat law come as no surprise, the repeal of the almost half-century long, bipartisan consensus to keep taxpayer dollars from funding abortion is radical. In the 2020 campaign, candidate Joe Biden switched his position and now calls for Hyde to be abolished.

Republicans and Democrats alike have supported the inclusion of the Hyde Amendment for almost 50 years, and it was upheld by the Supreme Court in 1980. Not to mention the fact that half of Americans are against abortion for any reason, 60 percent of Americans do not want their taxpayer dollars funding abortion, and American citizens are even less likely to want to fund abortions worldwide. A whopping 76 percent say that they oppose using tax dollars to support abortion in other countries.

To “advance women’s health around the world,” the Biden-Harris Administration has revoked the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance Policy (formerly known as the Mexico City Policy), which prohibits U.S. funding to be used by grantees for abortions internationally. It has also reinstated and even raised funding to the United Nations Population Fund, which distributes abortion-inducing drugs and devices, funds abortions worldwide, and is known to have supported the Chinese government’s population-control policies (including forced abortions). And the administration supports what it defines as “country-level reforms that ensure equal rights and opportunities under the law for women and girls,” flirting with the U.S. law that prohibits U.S. involvement in lobbying for or against abortion in the international sphere.

Despite their appeals to morality, the authors’ strategy displays America’s we-know-best diplomacy, dispersing a new and insidious form of colonization, ideological in nature and deadly in practice. It also represents the widening poles in American political discourse, with parties and their constituents not only disagreeing on the surface about which types of policies to implement, but disagreeing existentially about what is good and what is evil. The role of the Church, no matter what the political landscape, is to proclaim the truth and to remind the State of its calling to do justice, which this document completely thwarts. Promoting policies to end pre-born lives with taxpayer dollars and in the name of “healthcare,” at home and abroad, is evil, no matter what you call it.


Katelyn Walls Shelton

Katelyn Walls Shelton is the senior policy advisor at the Institute for Women’s Health, and she previously worked to promote the wellbeing of women and the unborn at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She graduated from Yale Divinity School and Union University, and lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, John, and their twin toddlers.

@annakateshelt

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PAULO

Abortion protection from the Constitution?. Surely we have been hoodwinked.

ECCL49

Insightful and beautifully said. Thank you.

Phil in PDX

I sent this to the White House:
The National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality claims its purpose is “to advance the rights and opportunities of women and girls across the world.” The associated Fact Sheet says the strategy aims to “protect, improve, and expand access to health care,” and as such, it will “defend the constitutional right to safe and legal abortion in the United States, established in Roe v. Wade, and promote access to sexual and reproductive health and rights both at home and abroad.”

Don’t you know that most abortions end the lives of girls? Perhaps not true in the good old USA but certainly true in much of the rest of the world. You just don’t get it, do you?

Promoting policies to end pre-born lives with taxpayer dollars and in the name of “healthcare,” at home and abroad, is evil, no matter what you call it.

Gammelmann

A constitutional right to abortions ?