A diverse group of more than 100 U.S. and international organizations today sent a letter to the U.S. State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) urging that foreign assistance funding for abortion care be authorized immediately “to the full extent of the law.”
The letter, signed by Ipas and 104 other organizations, said the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning the constitutional right to abortion in the United States “is a public health emergency that has and will continue to threaten the health and lives of people seeking health care services, not just for those in the U.S. but also for people globally.”
Under the Helms amendment, U.S. foreign assistance funds may not be used for abortion services as a means of family planning—but can be used for abortion services in cases of rape, incest and life endangerment. As the letter notes, however, “the USAID and the State Department have never funded abortion services in these circumstances, even though they can do so without breaching any congressionally imposed limits on abortion funding.”
The letter also urges U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and USAID Administrator Samantha Power to issue guidance making it clear that U.S. foreign assistance funding can also be used to provide abortion information and counseling.