Abortion Jihad

This week Congress will vote on the first abortion issue to come before it this year. At stake are the lives of millions of unborn babies around the world. The vote concerns a resolution which would allow the Clinton administration to spend $123 million earmarked for international family planning. These funds have been held up because of a sharp disagreement between the president and Congress over whose hands this money is going to end up in. During its last session, Congress insisted that international family planning funds not be given to any group that performs abortions or lobbies to overthrow laws banning abortion in developing countries. President Clinton refused to agree to these terms. As a result, 1997 funding for international population assistance was postponed until this July. Now President Clinton says he wants this money released—and wants it immediately. And he wants it poured into the coffers of the very organizations Congress and the American people object to—family planning groups that perform abortions and campaign to overthrow laws restricting abortion. To win this fight, the administration and its allies have launched an aggressive campaign of misinformation. For example, they claim that because U.S. law already prohibits direct federal funding of abortion overseas, concerns about population funds paying for abortions are unwarranted. Well, what they’re not telling you is that when pro-abortion family planning groups receive U.S. funds, it frees up their own funds—funds that are then used to promote and perform abortions. It’s nothing but a shell game. Among the groups that would benefit from this maneuver is the International Planned Parenthood Federation, a zealous supporter of China’s population control program which includes forced abortions. President Clinton claims that delaying the population funding until July would cause “a rise in unintended pregnancies and maternal deaths.” But as Rep. Christopher Smith of New Jersey points out, it’s the Clinton administration that’s holding this money hostage to abortion language, not pro-life senators and congressmen. Rep. Smith is sponsoring an alternative measure—one that would release these funds, but only to groups that do not promote or perform abortions. Despite what the abortion lobby may tell you, that’s the real pro-woman position. You see, the dirty little secret of international abortion crusaders is that legalizing abortion in poor countries may actually increase maternal deaths. Dr. Margaret Ogola from Kenya says if you travel to remote regions of her country, you’ll find clinics filled with birth control devices, thanks to Western population groups. But when it comes to life-saving drugs like penicillin, the cupboards are bare. It doesn’t take much imagination to figure out what would happen if a surgical procedure were introduced into a region that doesn’t even have antibiotics: massive infections and death. Poor women around the world deserve better than a family planning agenda that amounts to an abortion jihad—an unholy war that would hurt both women and babies. On February 13, 1997, the House voted 220 to 209 to authorize early release of funds for international family planning. Immediately after this vote, the House voted 231 to 194 to bar funding for groups performing or promoting the use of abortion. As of this writing the Senate has taken no action.


Chuck Colson


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