Over the course of President Joe Biden’s first days in office, a range of executive orders drove home the fact that his administration will be starkly different than that of former President Donald Trump.
As an executive memorandum on Thursday revealed, those disparities are especially evident in regard to the topic of abortion.
“Support women’s and girls’ sexual and reproductive health”
With the stroke of his pen, U.S. taxpayers are now set to resume funding for international abortions, an act that prompted an immediate backlash among many of the nation’s pro-life advocates.
Biden’s memorandum this week softened the reality of his action by couching it in terms of “protecting women’s health at home and abroad,” arguing that repealing the so-called Mexico City expanded under the Trump administration amounted to “onerous requirements” that negatively impacted the health of women overseas.
Along with rescinding the policy that prevented U.S. funding for international groups that advocate for or perform abortions, Biden’s move also authorized a full review of related Title X funding restrictions.
According to a “fact sheet” the administration released in conjunction with the memo, the revocation was necessary in order to aid women worldwide who “have been denied access to reproductive health care” and to “support women’s and girls’ sexual and reproductive health and rights in the United States, as well as globally.”
At a signing ceremony, Biden argued that his goal was to “undo the damage” that his predecessor had caused by his support of the policy.
“The inherent dignity of all persons, born and unborn”
As TownHall noted, however, anti-abortion activist groups are up in arms about the move and describe it as an insult to those who seek to defend the rights of the unborn. One such critic is Jeanne Mancini, the president of the March for Life.
“Rescinding the Mexico City Policy on the eve of the March for Life is a deeply disturbing move, especially when the president says he wants national unity,” she tweeted. “It goes against the wishes of an overwhelming majority of Americans.”
Mancini pointed to surveys showing “that 77% of Americans oppose taxpayer funding for abortion overseas” in making her argument that the U.S. “government should never force taxpayers to fund abortions, either here or abroad, but should work to protect the inherent dignity of all persons, born and unborn.”
Carl Anderson of the pro-life Knights of Columbus shared a similar take, bolstered by the results of a recent poll the group conducted in conjunction with Marist.
He described a “supermajority of Americans” across ideological lines who confirm that Biden’s action “does not unite Americans but instead is contrary to an area of bipartisan consensus in an otherwise divisive issue.”