Evangelical advocates abroad hold out hope that America’s shift on abortion sets a new standard.
Some pro-life Christians hope the reversal of Roe v. Wade will help more countries outside the US resist legalizing abortion.
Under the landmark ruling for nearly 50 years, the United States modeled abortion rights as a standard, an inevitable sign of social progress. As abortion policy becomes a state-by-state issue, advocates say, it will decrease the pressure the US and US-based aid groups put on foreign governments around abortion access, allowing them to focus on other aspects of women’s health instead.
The Roe reversal “will help show the rest of the world that this isn’t a settled issue, even in the West, and will hopefully help countries in the Global South to resist pressure from the West to liberalize their abortion laws,” said Peter Saunders, the UK-based president of the International Christian Medical and Dental Association.
“It will also make it much harder to argue at the UN that abortion is an international human right when half the US believes, and will now enforce, the exact opposite.”
In its updated guidelines issued in March 2022, the United Nations’ World Health Organization called for the repeal of “laws and regulations that restrict abortion by reasons, prohibit abortion based on gestational limits, and require mandatory waiting periods.”
Under President Donald Trump (and previous Republican presidents), the Mexico City policy barred federal funding of international organizations that covered or advocated for abortion as a method of family planning. President Joe Biden rescinded the policy.
While the Mexico City policy focuses on foreign assistance programs, two other provisions—the Siljander and Helms amendments—also limits how US dollars …