(District Of Columbia) The Canadian government on Thursday hailed President Joe Biden’s decision to reverse a US policy that denied all federal funding to international aid agencies that directly or indirectly supported abortion.
Biden on Thursday signed a new set of presidential decrees, including one that overturns that policy in order to protect and expand access to reproductive health care, including abortion, in the United States and around the world.
This policy, born under Ronald Reagan in 1985, deprived international nonprofits of any US federal funding if they provided abortion advice or referrals. Over the years and administrations in the White House, this policy has been either overturned by a Democratic president or restored by a Republican, five times in the past 28 years. Donald Trump broadened it to include all aid agencies, not just those specifically concerned with family planning.
“I applaud Joe Biden’s decision to join the global consensus on the right to choose and support sexual and reproductive health and rights programs,” Canadian Minister of International Development Karina Gould wrote on her Twitter feed. Women’s rights are human rights. ”
In 2019, the federal Liberals announced that starting in 2023, the government would increase its funding to support the health of women and girls around the world to reach $ 1.4 billion per year, for a period of ten years. This plan provides $ 700 million specifically for sexual and reproductive health, including comprehensive abortion services.
US $ 12 billion deprived
The “Trump version” of this US directive is the one that has done the most harm to organizations, which have reportedly been deprived of about US $ 12 billion in international health aid.
“Undue restrictions on the use of federal funds have made it more difficult for women to obtain necessary health care,” read the executive order signed by President Biden on Thursday. “These excessive conditions on foreign and development assistance undermine U.S. efforts to advance gender equality around the world, by limiting our ability to support women’s health and programs that prevent and respond to gender equality. gender-based violence. “Such restrictions, adds the president,” are particularly harmful in light of the current pandemic.
The executive order also calls on the US Department of Health and Human Services to “take immediate action” to reverse related guidelines under the family planning program known as “Title X.”
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki described the recent wave of presidential decrees signed by Mr. Biden as an urgent effort to overturn several “nefarious, harmful and sometimes immoral” policies of the Trump era.
Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights now intends to pressure the Biden administration to walk the talk, with concrete funding and political action. This decision “must be accompanied by political and global funding commitments that support sexual and reproductive rights on the ground,” according to the Ottawa organization.
“The politicization of women’s bodies and decision-making for political purposes is truly devastating, especially when abortion is recognized under international human rights law,” said Sarah Keller, director of government relations of the body.
Canada too had its own version of a similar rule under Stephen Harper’s Conservative government, until it was overthrown by Justin Trudeau’s newly elected Liberals in 2015.