WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) – Congress has approved a $1.5 trillion omnibus package to fund the federal government and its various priorities for the next year, signed into law Tuesday by President Joe Biden, with relatively little fanfare and even less attention devoted to its potential ramifications for the preborn.
The 2,700-page omnibus has drawn attention for $13.6 billion in emergency aid to Ukraine and NATO allies, budget increases for domestic agencies, and various examples of pork and subsidies for various left-wing environmental and cultural priorities, as well as its ramifications for inflation and the national debt.
Some in the press have depicted the deal as a victory for pro-lifers because it retains the Hyde and Weldon amendments, which prohibit direct federal funding of most abortions and discrimination against recipients of federal money on the basis of their refusal to participate in abortion. However, the bill contains other provisions that will likely be used to financially support the abortion industry and its allies.
The biggest of those provisions is a $200 million earmark for the Biden administration’s Gender Equity & Equality Action Fund, which the administration says is meant in part to “advance economic security for women and girls globally” – something Biden claims is impossible without “reproductive rights,” i.e., access to abortion.
Other provisions with potential abortion ramifications include reauthorization of the federal Violence Against Women Act and its associated Services, Training, Officers, & Prosecutors (STOP) grants, which the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported last year netted Planned Parenthood $200 million from 2016 to 2018; as well as various new subsidies for maternal health programs, which while technically subject to Hyde, Planned Parenthood could still qualify to receive.
While the stated purposes of these funds are innocuous, suspicion that they will be abused to support abortion are bolstered by the current president’s open advocacy of a “whole-of-government effort” to protect abortion-on-demand.
During his first week in office, Biden repealed the Mexico City Policy, which bars foreign aid from going to organizations involved with abortion; two months later, he created a White House Gender Policy Council that identified among its goals the promotion of abortion at home and abroad. In October, Biden rescinded the Trump administration’s block on funding abortionists via the Title X family planning program.
In January 2022, his administration announced a Reproductive Healthcare Access Task Force “composed of senior-level HHS officials who have been designated by their respective agencies to identify and coordinate activities across the Department to protect and bolster access to essential sexual and reproductive health care” via a range of actions, including research, identifying and eliminating pro-life policies that remain in existing federal programs, advancing new pro-abortion policies and guidances, and supporting efforts to normalize abortion by mitigating its stigmatization.
At the same time, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) announced $6.6 million in Title X grants to a handful of public and private entities ostensibly affected by state pro-life laws, including two Planned Parenthood affiliates in Texas as well as Planned Parenthood of Northern New England.
Further, the president supports legislation to codify a “right” to abortion in federal law, and expand it to forbid states from subjecting abortion to ultrasound requirements, mandatory waiting periods, informed-consent requirements, and other health and safety regulations, such as admitting privileges. Such legislation would also protect so-called “webcam” abortions (i.e., dispensing abortion pills without an in-person doctor’s visit), forbid banning abortions on the basis of a baby’s race, sex, or disability, and forbid banning particular techniques such as dilation and evacuation (D&E) procedures, better known as “dismemberment” abortions because they entail literally ripping unborn babies apart in the womb, then removing them from the uterus limb by limb.