We’re encouraged that President Biden’s “skinny” budget, shared on April 9, made clear that health, equity, and justice are priorities. New investments in global health, climate, and better relations with countries around the world will improve the lives of Americans and our global neighbors. When the full details of the budget are released, we hope to see the Helms Amendment, a harmful U.S. restriction on abortion access overseas, and all other abortion funding restrictions, dropped. Ending Helms for good will protect people seeking abortion, will help countries expand access to health services, and will bring us closer to achieving reproductive and economic freedom and equity for millions worldwide.
For nearly 50 years, the Helms Amendment has harmed people living in low-and middle-income countries by restricting funding for abortion services. The policy reduces the availability of safe, legal abortion, denies health-care providers life-saving equipment and training, and censors critical health information.
“This policy, rooted in racism and colonialism, has oppressed and controlled Black and brown bodies using the power of U.S. funding for far too long,” says Ipas President and CEO Anu Kumar.