Obama permits U.S. abortion funding overseas

President Obama has lifted restrictions that had prevented U.S. government funding for abortions in other countries:

President Barack Obama on Friday lifted restrictions on U.S. government funding for groups that provide abortion services or counseling abroad, reversing a policy of his Republican predecessor George W. Bush.

The Democratic president’s decision was a victory for advocates of abortion rights on an issue that in recent years has become a tit-for-tat policy change each time the White House shifts from one party to the other.

When the ban was in place, no U.S. government funding for family planning services could be given to clinics or groups that offered abortion services or counseling in other countries, even if the funds for those activities came from non-U.S. government sources.

This is not the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), which would remove virtually all restrictions on abortions in this country, including taxpayer funding. This foreign aid policy was also rescinded under Bill Clinton, then re-imposed by George W. Bush. This is how we help other nations, co-operating in the abortion of their children.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Manxman

    The content of his character is starting to show.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    So far it is still “tit for tat”. Still it is gut wrenching to have one’s tax money used to pull foreign babies apart inside what should be one of the safest places in the world, their mother’s womb.

    Our culture and our nation are sick, sick, sick.

    I was visiting with an elderly lady at a church event last night and I know she was taken aback from my comments on our culture’s view of children. She started to imply that the Sudanese mothers I serve are a bit “third-world” in their views and such. I perhaps responded a little too strongly to this poor woman, but we have a lot to learn from how welcoming some other cultures are to children and how unwelcoming our culture has become. She proceeded to try to comfort me with the fact that this problem is limited to just “some people” in our culture. But what we all forget is that it is our culture and we are complicit. And no our culture is no longer welcoming to children. We limit them, and treat them as property, prevent their conception and birth, and kill them. That’s what our culture does and by law we encourage other cultures to do the same. This is a disgusting “tit for tat” exchange.

    By the way, I don’t get to worked up that Obama did this. It is expected that any democrat elected to the presidency would keep this political volleyball up in the air. Its part of the game they play with the citizens.

  • Jonathan

    Bryan, I deplore abortion, but not contraception, and I wonder if you do. I don’t mind US tax money being used to educate people (mainly, women) who desperately need to know how not to get preganant. To say that abstinence is all they need to know ignores their reality. Just as it ignores the reality of many American teenagers.
    You say our nation is sick, in part, for limiting children. Are you saying that no one should use contraception? I really don’t know any family that is having as many children as they biologically can have. So the parents are either never having sex or are using some kind of birth control method. And no one’s condeming them.
    Again, I am not discussing abortion. But I am dismayed that Christians who discuss “family planning” seem to assume that women are being told, first, nothing about how to avoid getting pregnant, then, second, that abortion is their only option when they are pregnant. I think that’s far from true.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Jonathan, I said nothing in my post for abstinence education nor have I said anything against contraception. My head is not in the sand. I understand that everyone in the United States is probably going to learn more about everything than is good for them. And educators really have no control, the kids learn way more than parents and educators have control over. The internet and peers fill in all of the blanks and I think we should get over it.

    What we need to teach the next generation is what to do with their knowledge. What most Americans do with their knowledge is limiting the population below replacement levels. I think this is the natural conclusion to the knowledge we fill ourselves with and Christians should combat it with reason and faith. Encourage people to ask themselves and deal with motivation questions. Why do they make the decisions they make. Why wait so long to get married? Why wait so long to have children? Why do you intentionally want to have such a small family? Well taught Christians will come to different conclusions from the world and begin to rebel against the lies inculcated by the culture. How do we begin to use the vast array of knowledge we have faithfully?

  • Jonathan

    Bryan, sorry. My post can be read to suggest you mentioned abstinence, but that’s my fault. I should have said, “If anyone says that abstinence is…”
    I wish you would expound on your comment about limiting children. I read you to suggest that a well taught Christian would have several children. Why? For the good of society? And as for “replacement levels,” you need to explain that as well. I’ve heard that term used in a racial context, but I don’t think you mean it that way. The US population grows every year. I’m no demographic expert, but I’m not sure I see the concern for “replacement levels.”

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Our culture does not act as if children were blessings. But rather like a disease to be inoculated against. Even within marriage. That’s not how these gifts were created for but without proper education, many people are using them that way. I simply want folks to begin examining their intentions. Why? Why live this way? What sort of culture and society will it create?

  • Jonathan

    What grounds for limiting the number of children do you recognize as legitimate?

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Not being married. Perhaps being too old. Certain life-threatening health reasons. Perhaps self-understood unfitness for parenting at times. Severe limitations of resources (like a famine). Inability, but that one is often a great opportunity for adoption. Any of these and more could be seen as exceptions to the general rule. But the exceptions should remain exceptional. And they shouldn’t change the general view which I think is the encouragement that having children is a great calling and a great blessing to current and future generations (a thought which should be obvious).

    Plus, when did we all stop believing that the Lord will provide for our growing families?

  • Jonathan

    Thanks. Well put.
    But does a 3d-world woman, living on cents a day without a reliable or gentle husband, already failing at trying to feed several children, really need a famine to convince her to stop conceiving? I think nonetheless she would fall under your “severe limitation of resources” category, as do many people who would profit from family planning information. As I understand it, the funding at issue here is for “overseas.”

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Jonathan, to answer you @3 more directly, I don’t deplore contraception which is clearly not abortive. But even those more clear cut “technologies” are abused now by most people to enable more and more and more sex outside of marriage and irresponsibility. We don’t even entertain the notion anymore that a man can control himself. C’mon, let’s be realistic. But we used to believe in the possibility of self-restraint and chastity. The advent and practice of modern contraception has destroyed those gifts as quaint relics of ancient fairy-tales.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Responding to you at 9 now, Jonathan. Pssst. The woman you describe is really make-believe. The real women over there have brains which work exactly like ours do over here – they also have mothers and fathers and (I know its hard to believe) doctors. How would you like it if Chinese people came and offered free clinics (at the expense of their distant but powerful government) for you to finally understand how stupid your mom and dad were? Real women over there have help and their own personal resources to boot – both the good kind and the sinful kind – already. Is it not arrogance (and perhaps sometimes a bit of prejudice) for us to think that they need our modern western views on population control backed by U.S. imperial mega-deficit-$$$$$s?

    We are something else aren’t we?

  • Jonathan

    Bryan, we’ll have to differ on what we think is make believe. But if the Chinese were to offer free health clinics here at their expense, I’d leap at it. One thing that is not make believe is the huge number of uninsured in this country. As our unemployed steadily grow, so do our uninsured. That’s an ugly stain on our quality of life. We need a health care system that isn’t dependent on our having jobs.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Boy, I certainly didn’t think I would side-track you so far with that temptation. Sorry, bad example I guess.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    But you bring up a somewhat valid tangential point, Jonathan. The money could be used a lot more smartly in our own economy by either not collecting the tax in the first place (my preference nearly always) or by using the federal money on needs within our own nation (the route I assume you would prefer). Anyway…

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Jonathan, again about your comment at 9. In third world nations you can live on cents-a-day when you’re costs are cents-a-day. Westerners come in though flood the local economy with stuff from the outside while at the same time teaching the people how terrible it is for an economy to function at the cents-a-day level. Talk about unprepared for inflation! Then we break their culture nearly completely with the unhealthy notion of the western work ethic of chasing money at the expense of human presence and family cohesion.

  • Jonathan

    Bryan, if only we could also refrain from selling their governments armaments they don’t need and training their police forces to use ‘enhanced interrogation’ on dissenters, we and they would be much better off. Anyone for roping in the CIA?

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Jonathan – Bottom line: is it governments role to kill or to help citizens kill those people it deems unworthy of life? If abortion is the taking of innocent human life – should government promote and encourage that by helping pay for it? I know that government money could be better spent in many trillions of better ways.


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