U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has reinstated abortion and reproductive rights in the list of “human rights” to be evaluated in the State Department’s annual global human rights report.
“Women’s rights, including sexual and reproductive rights, are human rights,” Blinken told reporters Tuesday.
The Biden administration is resuming the practice of including abortion policy as part of the State Department’s annual survey of global human rights in different countries, reversing a decision by the Trump administration.
In releasing its annual global human-rights report Tuesday, the State Department said an addendum will be added later this year to cover previously dropped topics, including maternal mortality, access to contraception and reproductive healthcare, topics that had been dropped during the Trump presidency.
As part of the official U.S. human rights program, the State Department will resume the practice of the Obama administration of pressing countries to legalize abortion.
During his first days in office, President Biden began reversing the Trump administration’s elimination of taxpayer-funded abortions, repealing the Mexico City policy, which prevents federal funds from going to groups that perform overseas abortions.
African human rights activists reacted strongly to the measure, warning of a neo-colonialist push by the Biden administration to force Africans to abandon their values, which include appreciation for every human life including those not yet born.
A group called Culture of Life Africa released a video titled “A Message for President Biden,” which begins: “We appeal to Joe Biden, please do not, do not, do not, sponsor abortion in Africa.”
“We all deserve the right to live. I stand against the funding of abortion in Africa,” declares another speaker.
Nigerian human rights activist Obianuju Ekeocha, a biomedical scientist, also decried President Biden’s overturning of the Mexico City policy, especially as it affects Africa.
“The experts in the halls of Western power disregard the views and the values of an entire nation in order to push their pro-abortion agenda,” Ekeocha states in her 2018 book Target Africa: Ideological Neocolonialism in the Twenty-First Century.
“At the core of my people’s value system is the profound recognition that human life is precious, paramount, and supreme,” she states. “For us, abortion, which is the deliberate killing of little ones in the womb, is a direct attack on innocent human life. It is a serious injustice, which no one should have the right to commit.”
Unfortunately, Ekeocha observes, in their efforts to impose an abortion culture, those in the West care little for what Africans want.
“It is time for the international community to listen to the voices of the African people and to desist from pushing abortion on them,” she declares.
The financing of abortion in Africa, Ekeocha notes, is part of a larger war on the African people. “Western nations, organizations, and foundations wage war against the bodies of African women” in a frontal attack on “female fertility,” she says.
“The insistence on reducing the population of Africa, no matter what the cost to the Africans themselves, is racism, imperialism, and colonialism disguised as philanthropy,” she states.
The head of the West African Bishops’ Conference has also denounced Biden’s decision “to promote the destruction of human lives domestically and in developing nations” through taxpayer-funded abortion.
In a February 3 interview with Crux, a U.S.-based online Catholic news outlet, Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Abuja said that Biden’s revival of U.S. taxpayer funding for abortions overseas “does not stand to reason” but rather “violates human dignity.”
“As I understand it, President Biden’s memorandum reverses restrictions on abortion access domestically and abroad imposed and expanded by the Trump administration,” the archbishop said. “It is intriguing that one of Biden’s first official acts is to promote the destruction of human lives domestically and in developing nations.”
In his interview, Archbishop Kaigama did not only appeal to Biden’s duty as a Catholic, but rather to his duty as president, charged with protecting the lives of citizens and promoting the common good.
“The President should use his office to prioritize the most vulnerable, including unborn children,” the archbishop said. “Vatican II and all the Popes down to Pope Francis have described the deliberate killing of a child before or after birth as a most grievous violation of God’s commandments.”
“Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes,” Kaigama said, citing the Second Vatican Council. “As Bishops, we have always reiterated that abortion is a direct attack on life that also wounds the woman and undermines the family and above all, it offends God.”