The FY11 omnibus undermines the prohibition on abortion funding in the District of Columbia, which Democrats overturnde last year to fund abortions in Washington for the first time in many years. Because Congress approves all D.C. appropriates it can determine whether tax dollars can pay for abortions or not.
The legislation allocates $327 million for the Title X Family Planning Program which provides funding to groups like Planned Parenthood. This is a $10 million increase over last year and a $44 million increase over the last four years.
The omnibus also allocates $710 million for international family planning/reproductive health which provides funding to organizations that promote and perform abortion overseas. This is a $62 million increase over last year and a $270 million increase over the last four years.
Further, the appropriations bill establishes an Office of Global Women’s Issues at the department of State headed by an Ambassador-at-Large, and the position of Gender Integration and Development Advisor at USAID. In prior efforts to establish these positions and offices, pro-life leaders have expressed concern that the offices will support international efforts to promote abortion.
Also, new language added to the gender-based violence section directs the Secretary of State to ensure international aid programs are consistent with United Nations Security Council resolutions 1820 and 1888. These resolutions affirm the CEDAW Convention which the U.S. has not ratified and pro-life groups oppose because CEDAW provisions have been interpreted as grounds to overturn pro-life laws.
If Republicans went with a continuing resolution, they could strip the funding for abortions in D.C. and potentially other funds used to subsidized pro-abortion groups.