A bizarre opinion column published by the New York Times on Monday lamented that the American government is currently not funding abortions in Ethiopia – a country ravaged by a genocidal civil war where basic health care is increasingly difficult to access, the World Health Organization (W.H.O) warned this week.
The column, written by abortion activist Anu Kumar, notably omits that Ethiopia is in the throes of a war between its government, backed by allied Eritrea, and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), a Marxist political party that previously ruled Ethiopia for nearly 30 years. The war began in November 2020, when the TPLF reportedly attacked a government military base, prompting Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner, to blockade the entire Tigray region. The government has since designated the TPLF a terrorist organization and surrounded Tigray with the aid of the Eritrean military.
The Tigray blockade is reportedly causing mass starvation, depriving civilians of critical medical aid, and making it impossible for Tigrayans outside the region to know the fate of their families. Multiple international actors, including the U.S. government, have accused Abiy of “ethnic cleansing.”
Members of other ethnic groups have accused TPLF fighters of atrocities, as well, including the mass murder and gang rape of Amharic and other civilians. Both the government and the TPLF deny the evidence against them.
The article also fails to note the years-long phenomenon of outsider pro-abortion activists complaining that the world has too many Africans, enthusiastically urging African mothers to reconsider having more children. The most prominent of these scandals occurred in 2017 when French President Emmanuel Macron, leading a nation with a dark history of oppression on the African continent, complained that Africa has a “civilizational” problem in its large families. A year later, he stated that girls in Africa were not “properly educated,” leading to too many children, and “more choice would mean fewer children in Africa.”
Advocating for abortion in Ethiopia joins support for terrorist-turned-dictator Fidel Castro in Cuba, denial of the Holodomor genocide of Ukrainians by Joseph Stalin, and the claim that women enjoyed better sex under totalitarian communist regimes among the dubious causes the New York Times has embraced throughout its existence.
The New York Times opinion piece promoting abortion in Ethiopia fails to mention that the country has been at war for nearly two years, or that basic medical services in Tigray, and in much of the rest of the country, essentially do not exist. It instead shames America for not doing enough to ensure that more babies are aborted in the Christian-majority African nation.
“Abortion has been legal in Ethiopia under a broad range of circumstances for the past 17 years. Nevertheless, at the Shekebedo Health Center, abortions cannot be performed at all,” the author, Kumar, laments. “The clinic, situated in a rural part of southwestern Ethiopia where quality health care is hard to access, is partially funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development. This funding has stopped the clinic from offering abortions to Ethiopian women.”
The column did not specify where the Shekebedo Health Center is exactly, though the southwest is far from the northern Tigray region. It also largely ceased to discuss Ethiopia following its opening. Instead, it lambasted the Helms amendment of the Foreign Assistance Act, which does not allow U.S. funding abroad to go to the killing of an unborn child “as a method of family planning” or towards the promotion of killing unborn children.
“In 2020, America sent more than $592 million in family planning funds overseas — about as much as the next three countries combined — and has contributed 40 percent to 50 percent of total direct funding over the past decade,” Kumar nonetheless noted while condemning Washington for its alleged lack of support for family planning.
The column concluded with a demand for legislation that would allow American taxpayers’ dollars to fund the killing of unborn children abroad, lamenting that “widespread Republican support for the Helms Amendment” would likely block any such legislation.
Two days after the New York Times published the pro-abortion opinion piece, the world’s most prominent Tigrayan, W.H.O. Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that his home region was once again on the verge of “genocide.”
“Yes, I’m from Tigray, and yes, this affects me personally. I don’t pretend it doesn’t. Most of my relatives are in the most affected areas, more than 90 per cent of them,” Tedros told reporters at a regular W.H.O. press briefing. “This is a health crisis for six million people, and the world is not paying enough attention.”
Tedros reportedly said that a small “window” existed for the world to prevent a “genocide” of ethnic Tigrayans, most of them trapped behind the blockade with little food or medicine. The director-general noted that, in addition to the absence of outside communication and food, health care is practically nonexistent in Tigray.
“There are no services for tuberculosis, HIV, diabetes, hypertension and more – those diseases, which are treatable elsewhere, are now a death sentence in Tigray,” Tedros said.
The W.H.O. did not list access to abortions among Tedros’ concerns for Ethiopia.
The Ethiopian government announced the capture of three towns in Tigray – Shire, Alamata, and Korem – from the TPLF on Tuesday, promising civilians there would receive humanitarian aid. At least one aid worker in Shire died in an Ethiopian government bombing this week, despite the government claiming it captured the towns “without fighting in urban areas.”
Advances against the TPLF – which, when it had managed to expand outside of Tigray, reportedly allowed fighters to engage in mass gang rapes in Amharic villages – have occurred as mounting reports elsewhere in Ethiopia have surfaced implicating the government in the recruitment of child soldiers.
“The children are being abducted,” one eyewitness in eastern Harar told the Addis Standard last week. “They [security forces] break into houses and abduct children. They pick them, throw them on trucks and drive them to police stations and concentration camps. The majority of the victims are daily laborer children aged between 13 to 15.”