During her first press conference, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked about President Joe Biden’s stance on certain abortion policies.
“I will just take the opportunity to remind all of you that he is a devout Catholic and somebody who attends church regularly,” Psaki responded. “He started his day attending church with his family this morning but I don’t have anything more for you on that.”
Two days later, on the 48th anniversary of Roe v Wade, Joe Biden and his VP Kamala Harris released a statement affirming their unequivocal support of abortion, including their intention to have Roe v Wade codified in US law so that it cannot be overturned by a future Supreme Court ruling.
A week on, Biden signed an executive order rescinding the Mexico City Policy. Introduced by President Reagan in 1985, this policy prohibits NGOs from receiving US taxpayer funding if they promote or perform abortions overseas.
Some 83 percent of Americans have expressed support of the Mexico City Policy, believing that it isn’t the role of Americans to pay for abortions elsewhere. It is a law that has reliably flip-flopped with each incoming administration since then—favoured by Democrat lawmakers and rejected by Republicans. Trump even managed to expand the policy under his watch to cover government agencies engaged in healthcare abroad. Under Biden, it is no longer.
Two other changes on abortion are soon expected under the Biden administration. First, Biden has asked the Department of Health and Human Services to review a similar policy known as the Hyde Amendment, which prevents federal funds from being used to fund abortions for low-income Americans.
Second, the new president is expected to disavow the United States’ endorsement of the Geneva Consensus. This is a non-binding but landmark charter launched by Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last year which was co-signed by over 30 nations. The charter’s aims include promoting better health for women, preserving human life, and strengthening the family as the foundational unit of society.
The response of many Catholics to these rapid developments under Biden has been strong, and understandably so.
“The fact that President Biden identifies himself as a devout Catholic, while working to preserve and expand legalised abortion, even using tax dollars to fund abortion, presents a unique challenge to the Bishops of the United States,” explained Kansas City Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann during an interview this week.
The Archbishop said that Biden’s actions are “confusing Catholics and non-Catholics regarding the Church’s teaching on the evil of abortion.”
The Archbishop of Los Angeles, José H. Gomez, is also the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Aware of Biden’s stance ahead of time, Archbishop Gomez penned a public statement on the day of Biden’s inauguration calling on him to reconsider his pro-abortion views. The letter was signed by over a dozen US bishops.
“I am in full agreement with Archbishop Gomez,” Naumann said in his interview, referring to the letter. “We must continue to speak to President Biden, as well as all Catholics, and even all Americans, about the truth of what abortion is. Abortion is not something to be celebrated, and it is not healthcare. It is the intentional killing of a child. To participate in abortion or to promote abortion is a grave evil.”
If this was the response from within America, that from abroad was stronger still.
Culture of Life Africa, a Catholic agency defending the sanctity and dignity of life in Africa, released a video last week entitled A Message for President Biden: The Unified Voices of Africa. It was a direct response to Biden’s repeal of the Mexico City Policy, and its pleas were earnest.
“We appeal to Joe Biden, please do not sponsor abortion in Africa,” says Ujunwa, a university lecturer who appears in the video.
“I do not want the United States of America and this present government to fund abortions in Africa. We’ve never needed abortions and we do not want them,” adds a doctor named Ursula.
“In my culture, we support life from the beginning till the end,” says Ellen, a student. “I’m against abortion because abortion is about killing innocent babies in the womb of their mothers,” adding that she’s “against funding of abortion in Africa by any foreign country.”
Obianuju Ekeocha is the founder of Culture of Life Africa and a Nigerian-born human rights activist. Following the video’s release.
She is horrified by the desire of Western leaders to push abortion on the developing world. “I see this as a form of ideological supremacy whereby our pro-life, pro-family, and pro-faith cultures are considered inferior to the western ‘progressive’ ideologies especially on issues related to human sexuality and sexual morality,” Ekeocha explained in an interview.
Ekeocha is well aware of the consequences of Biden’s decision to repeal the Mexico City Policy: abortion providers active in Africa such as International Planned Parenthood Federation, Marie Stopes International, and DKT International will now receive funding to—in Ekeocha’s words—help “eliminate” Africans.
“Africa is the most vulnerable region where [there is] widespread poverty and the unfortunate reality of the African nations’ aid dependency,” Ekeocha added. “We are the lowest hanging fruit, the easy conquests for Western leaders like Biden to impose their world view and their ideology, even when they are very much opposed to our own way of life.”
“This means the elimination of my people,” said Ekeocha in the interview. “This means the death and killing of the most innocent of the African unborn babies.”
In the video, Ekeocha explained that, when it comes to foreign aid, the simple plea of African people to leaders like Joe Biden is, “help us, don’t kill us.”
The question that remains is, will Biden heed these appeals from Africa and the concerns of 83 percent of Americans—or will he continue his pursuit of abortion imperialism?