LONDON, Jan 7 ( – The UK’s International Development Secretary, Clare Short, is fighting to have her reforms to overseas aid enshrined into law. The International Development Act is intended to stifle efforts of future governments from reversing the aid package. While foreign aid and developmental assistance is usually thought of primarily as food aid, on-going controversy over the international aid package reveals that substantial money goes towards “family planning”, which can include abortion, forced sterilization and contraceptive distribution.

The overt pro-abortion stance of Minister Short lends to the speculation that the new law would enshrine UK funding for global abortion into law. LifeSite reported last July that Short appeared before the United Nations General Assembly saying “it is hard to forgive those who deny women access to contraception and drive them into the arms of illegal abortionists and then claim to dislike abortion. The fact is that women regularly risk their lives for want of a safe abortion.”

Short added that “there can be no talk about safe motherhood and commitments made at Cairo if there is a failure to recognize that abortion is a reality in the lives of tens of millions of women.” Continuing to advance her extremist view that abortion is an absolute right that should trump all religious and cultural concerns, she added: “Those who want to deny women’s rights cannot hide behind culture, religion or tradition. None of the values of the great world religions or proper interpretation of any tradition calls for the oppression of women.  The right to health is a fundamental human right. Reproductive health is an essential element of health.”

Pro-life forces strongly back short’s observation that “great world religions” do not justify the oppression of women, emphasizing that this is one of the strongest arguments against –  not for – abortion.

See the report on the overseas aid law from the Telegraph.