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Helms Center: 'Racist,' 'inhumane' to scrap Helms Amendment ban on U.S. aid for foreign abortions

President Biden included the Helms Amendment in his FY2022 budget request, but House Appropriations Committee Democrats dropped it from the budget they passed.

Updated: July 6, 2021 - 10:34pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Brian Rogers, president of the Jesse Helms Center in Wingate, N.C., slammed the Democratic majority on the House Appropriations Committee for voting to eliminate the longstanding Helms Amendment in the $62 billion foreign aid bill it passed.

If the final budget passes without any changes, it would allow U.S. taxpayer funds to be used to pay for abortion services internationally. The Helms Amendment, originally proposed by former Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.), prevented taxpayer funds from paying for abortions outside of the U.S.

The Biden administration's FY2022 budget request included the Helms Amendment, but it left out the Hyde Amendment, which restricts federal funding of abortion services in the U.S.

Rogers said Joe Biden supported the Helms Amendment when he was a U.S. senator representing Delaware.

"I'm disappointed, as I know that Sen. Helms would be, that the House majority has decided to use American tax dollars to fund abortions in countries around the globe," Rogers told Just the News on Tuesday. "The Helms Amendment has been a tenet of American policy for decades, one supported by Helms and Joe Biden when he was in the Senate. In my view, this push by the left today to end human life is abundantly inhumane and horribly racist."

Democratic members of Congress who oppose the Helms Amendment, such as House Appropriations Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), argue that it discriminates against low-income and minority women abroad by denying them U.S. funding for abortion. Organizations such as Amnesty International support eliminating the Helms Amendment. 

Rogers elaborated on why he characterized the Helms Amendment as racist.

"This policy seeks to prevent all children, Black and brown in particular, from being murdered (I believe abortion is murder)," he wrote. "What could be more racist than to say the United States is willing to fund the killing of those children in the Third World and elsewhere? 

"It's a policy that's had support from Republicans and Democrats since being enacted in 1973. And Democrats had control of the U.S. House until 1994 and later under Nancy Pelosi's leadership with President Obama yet nothing was changed," Rogers added.

The House Appropriations Committee's FY 2022 "State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Funding Bill" removed Helms Amendment "restrictions that have prohibited safe abortion and health care services for poor and vulnerable women in low-income countries," according to a committee press release. The bill also permanently repealed the "Global Gag Rule on non-governmental organizations that receive U.S. assistance."

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