Joe Biden’s Democrats introduced a bill on Wednesday to repeal a 50-year-old Amendment to expand abortion access around the world with U.S. foreign aid. If repealed, the United States will be able to fund abortions worldwide with funds typically designated for humanitarian purposes.
The bill, which was introduced by Sen. Corey Booker (D-NJ), is dubbed the “Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act.,” and marks the first major effort to repeal the Helms Amendment, which was enacted in 1973.
As detailed by the Daily Wire, Congress added the Helms Amendment to the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act, which prohibits funds designated for foreign assistance to fund abortions.
The Helms Amendment is extremely strict in that it does not make any exceptions for cases of rape, incest, or medical emergency. It is worth noting that funds dispensed through U.S foreign assistance are rarely monitored in how they’re used outside of their designated purview.
Booker put forth the bill in the wake of the Supreme Court’s repeal of Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health in June, which he claims has denied Americans access to “essential healthcare services” that extends outside of the U.S.
“This disastrous decision will be felt around the world, setting back many countries who have long used Roe v. Wade as the basis to strengthen abortion rights protections in their own countries,” Booker stated. “We must take immediate action to mitigate the global impact of this decision.”
Twenty-one other senators co-signed the proposed legislation that would provide federal funding to give women “safe” access to abortion outside the United States.
As detailed by the Daily Wire, the Democrats’ efforts to repeal the Helms Act is unlikely, given popular support among conservatives for the repeal of Roe v. Wade. Furthermore, Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is likely to vote alongside the Republicans due to his opposition to reversing the Hyde Amendment, which bans using federal funds to pay for abortion.