Biden To Reverse Global Anti-Abortion Restrictions Expanded By Trump
President Joe Biden is preparing to overturn the “Mexico City Policy” — also known as the "global gag rule" by critics — that governs U.S. funding for international family planning organizations that “perform or promote” abortion.
Biden To End Ban On Funding Groups That Provide Abortions Abroad
President Biden is preparing to reverse a Trump administration policy that prohibits U.S. funding for nongovernmental groups that provide or refer patients for abortions — the first of several moves reproductive rights advocates are hoping to see from the Biden administration. In prepared remarks released by the White House on Thursday, Dr. Anthony Fauci tells the World Health Organization's executive board that Biden will soon revoke the Mexico City Policy "as part of his broader commitment to protect women's health and advance gender equality at home and around the world." The policy, first instituted by the Reagan administration, has pingponged on and off between Republican and Democratic presidents ever since. Trump reinstituted and expanded the policy, which critics describe as a "gag rule," within days of taking office. An analysis published in 2019 in the medical journal The Lancet found that the Mexico City Policy increased the abortion rate in at least some affected countries, likely because it also reduced access to contraception. (McCammon, 1/21)
Biden To End Trump-Era Anti-Abortion "Global Gag Rule"
Almost $9 billion in U.S. foreign aid is at stake under the “Mexico City Policy”, also known as the “global gag rule”, which prevents foreign groups providing abortion services or counselling from receiving U.S. funding. Those that have rejected the ban have lost funding, forcing them to shut reproductive health clinics and other services including HIV care. (Batha, 1/21)
Biden To Rescind Controversial Abortion Rule In Coming Days
“It will be our policy to support women’s and girls’ sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights in the United States, as well as globally,” Anthony Fauci said in remarks to the World Health Organization Thursday morning. ... Trump reinstated the ban upon taking office in 2017 and later expanded it to cover all global health assistance, including funding for HIV, maternal and child health and malaria programs. (Hellmann, 1/21)
In related news —
Pope Urges U.S. Reconciliation As Bishops Call Out Biden On Abortion
Pope Francis told President Joe Biden on Wednesday that he was praying that God would guide his efforts to bring reconciliation in the United States, while the head of the nation’s Catholic bishops condemned Biden’s pro-choice stand on abortion. In a message sent shortly after the second Catholic U.S. president was sworn in, Francis also said he hoped Biden would work towards a society marked by true justice, freedom and respect for the rights and dignity of every person, especially the poor, the vulnerable and those with no voice. (Pullella, 1/20)
Head Of US Bishops' Conference Warns Biden Would 'Advance Moral Evils And Threaten Human Life'
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued a stark condemnation of President Biden's abortion agenda on the day of his inauguration, arguing that he would advance "moral evil" on the "preeminent priority" for the faithful. "I must point out that our new President has pledged to pursue certain policies that would advance moral evils and threaten human life and dignity, most seriously in the areas of abortion, contraception, marriage, and gender," said Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez, who serves as the USCCB's president. "Of deep concern is the liberty of the Church and the freedom of believers to live according to their consciences." (Dorman, 1/21)
White House Says Biden Is A 'Devout Catholic' When Asked About Abortion Policies
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki described President Biden as a "devout Catholic" after being asked about his stances on taxpayer funding for abortion. Psaki's comments came during her first press conference Wednesday, where an EWTN Global Catholic Network reporter asked her about "two big concerns for pro-life Americans" -- the Hyde Amendment and Mexico City Policy. The former bars the use of federal funds to pay for abortion under most circumstances, while the latter restricts taxpayer funding of abortion abroad. "What is President Biden doing on those two items right now?" reporter Owen Jensen asked. (Dorman, 1/21)
Joe Biden Is 2nd Catholic President In US History After JFK
Throughout his political career, President Joe Biden's Catholic faith has always been a major presence: He attends Mass every Sunday and has spoken about the importance of religion in his life; and on Inauguration Day, he will be sworn in using a 127-year-old family Bible. After the swearing-in ceremony on Wednesday, Biden will be the second Catholic to lead the United States, the first since John F. Kennedy in 1961. However, the two leaders differ greatly in their stances on social issues: Kennedy did not challenge the Catholic Church's positions, according to NBC affiliate KXAN, while Biden has expressed support for abortion rights and gay marriage. (Breen, 1/20)
How Joe Biden's Catholic Faith Informs His Politics
President Joe Biden carries a rosary in his pocket and attends Mass regularly. How does his faith inform his politics? And where does Biden's Catholicism land in the spectrum of American Catholic belief? (1/20)