Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and House Democrats voted on Friday, July 24 to pass a budget bill which increases funding for abortions in foreign countries, funds the World Health Organization (WHO), and funds the promotion of LGBT issues throughout the globe.
The bill, H.R. 7608, is titled, “State, Foreign Operations, Agriculture, Rural Development, Interior, Environment, Military Construction, and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, 2021.” With the price tag of $259.5 billion, it combines four appropriation bills into one.
According to the official vote tally, the bill passed 224-189. It received 224 “yeas” from Democrats. 181 Republicans voted against the bill along with seven Democrats and one Independent.
A summary of the bill was provided by the House Appropriations Committee, chaired by Congresswoman Nita Lowey, D-N.Y. Among the most startling provisions include stipulations to increase funding for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), funding for the Global Equality Fund and a restoration of funding for WHO.
1. Funding for the UNFPA
The bill includes, “$750 million for family planning – an increase of $175 million above the FY 2020 enacted level and $513 million above the President’s budget request.”
“Family planning” is often a code word for abortions, contraceptives and the like.
This amount is composed of, “$55.5 million for UNFPA – an increase of $23 million above the FY 2020 enacted level and $55.5 million above the President’s budget request.”
The UNFPA is a “United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency.” Their “mission is to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is filled.”
Of note, the House bill’s budget for the UNFPA is 100% above the president’s budget request. This is because the Trump Administration defunded the UNFPA in 2017 over concerns that it “supports, or participates in the management of, a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization” in China. The UNFPA has rejected those claims.
Officially, the UNFPA claims it does not “perform, promote or fund abortion.”
However, some organizations like Alliance Defending Freedom International (ADFI) allege that the UNFPA’s history “is fraught with examples of how it illicitly promotes abortion under the guise of human rights, specifically reproductive rights — a euphemism used at the UN to refer to abortion.”
Despite the fact that the $55.5 million the House bill includes for UNFPA is available only if the “UNFPA does not fund abortions,” many pro-life supporters have long complained that money is fungible, especially when it comes to abortion.
As the ADFI report alleges, even though the UNFPA officially states that it does not perform or promote abortion, there is existing evidence to the contrary.
2. Funding for the Global Equality Fund
The House bill provides $10 million for the Global Equality Fund which is “an increase of $2.5 million above the FY 2020 enacted level.”
The Global Equality Fund is “a leading public-private partnership comprised of like-minded governments and private sector entities dedicated to protecting and defending the human rights and fundamental freedoms of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons around the world.”
The fund was founded in 2011 and is run through the United States Department of State.
Additionally, the bill allocates “$6 million for the Protection of LGBTI Persons, USAID – an increase of $1 million above the FY 2020 enacted level” and “$500,000 for the Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI Persons – an increase of $250,000 above the FY 2020 enacted level.”
3. Restoration of Funding for the WHO
Earlier this year, President Trump announced that his administration was terminating the United States’ relationship with WHO and redirecting the $450 million it contributes to WHO annually to other global health organizations. The president’s action followed the WHO’s bungled handling of the coronavirus pandemic, and its perceived coziness with the Chinese regime.
“Not less than $118,949,000 shall be made available for the World Health Organization,” the bill states. Additionally, the bill states, “not less than $200,000,000 shall be available for grants or contributions to the World Health Organization.”
The bill also stipulates that no funds allocated by this act can be used to withdraw the United States from WHO.
H.R. 7609 now goes to the United States Senate for senators to deliberate and consider the bill.
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Photo from ERIN SCOTT/REUTERS
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