The Corner

Politics & Policy

GOP Congressmen Ask the U.S. to Defund U.N. Groups That Promote Abortion

The United Nations logo is seen at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., September 23, 2019. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

In a letter to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), 60 Republican congressmen are demanding that the U.S. cease funding United Nations organizations that promote abortion.

Citing the Siljander amendment — which Congress attaches each year to the appropriations bill for the State Department and foreign-spending programs — the letter notes that U.S. funds may not be “used to lobby for or against abortion.”

“United States leaders and diplomats should insist that U.S.-supported international agreements and multilateral assistance do not include abortion under the guise of sexual and reproductive health,” the letter states.

The signatories point out that, in recent years, the U.N.’s Global Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) has promoted “abortion as having the same level of necessity as food” and includes in its humanitarian-aid packages “supplies for abortion, like manual vacuum aspiration and abortion-inducing drugs.”

The letter also notes that U.N. organizations such as the World Health Organization, the U.N. Population Fund, the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, and the U.N. Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women all lobby for increasing access to elective abortion around the world.

As Elyssa Koren documented in a recent article here at NRO, some of these U.N. committees have been guilty of delaying humanitarian aid during the COVID-19 global pandemic, insisting on including elective abortion in relief packages even in countries with pro-life policies and strong public opposition to abortion.

“U.S. contributions to UN Secretary General and UN organizations that lobby for abortion should be reduced in amounts proportional to their abortion-related lobbying,” the letter continues. “. . . U.S. tax dollars should not finance UN organizations that perform or promote abortion as a method of family planning through voluntary contributions, including for global health activities.”

The letter comes about a year after the Trump administration took a strong stance on abortion at the U.N., calling on the organization to cease defining it as an “international right” and lobbying for its expansion in euphemistic terms. This spring, the administration also demanded that the U.N. cease delaying COVID-19 aid by insisting on expanding elective abortion as part of its humanitarian-response plan.

This recent letter from Congress to the USAID was spearheaded by Senator James Lankford (R., Okla.) and Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R., Wash.) and signed by nearly a dozen GOP senators and about 50 GOP congressmen. The full text of the letter can be found here.


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