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US government cuts taxpayer funding to OAS for promoting abortion, other countries may follow suit

Summary

  • US State Department will enforce federal law and limit taxpayer dollars flowing to Organization of American States due to organization’s promotion of abortion
  • Organization regularly overreaches mandate, pressures Member States to restrict protections for the unborn

WASHINGTON, D.C. (2 April 2019) – Last week, the US State Department announced the reduction of funding to the Organization of American States (OAS) for “advancing the pro-abortion cause.” In December, US senators raised concerns about the organization’s pressure on Latin American states to remove their protections for unborn life. In a letter to the State Department, they argued that US tax-payers’ money should not be used to advocate for or against abortion policies in accordance with the Mexico City Policy and the Siljander amendment. The reduction in funding is proportionate to the OAS’ activities related to organizations that engage in abortion activities while funding for other comprehensive healthcare programs for women and girls will stay in place.

“Every person has the inherent right to life at all stages of development. This right is protected under international law. The OAS has a mandate to uphold international law and human rights, not to interfere in national matters of Member States. With the recent decision to reduce funding to the OAS, the US is taking a positive step towards protecting life. Women and girls deserve healthcare which promotes life and values their dignity. True humanitarian work protects the dignity of the unborn, both at home and abroad,” said Neydy Casillas, Senior Counsel for ADF International.

Organization of American States pressuring governments into legalizing abortion

As detailed by the US senators, the Organization of American States has a history of intervening in the national sovereignty of Member States. Latin American states that have laws in place protecting the right to life have come under strong pressure and criticism to change their laws. In particular, the Inter-American Commission and the Inter-American Court often act in a quasi-legislative manner. In doing so, the two OAS bodies overreach their mandate.

In 2017, more than 700 parliamentarians from Latin American countries signed the Mexico Declaration asking the OAS not to interfere in matters that are the sovereign responsibility of nation states.

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