Organisations may be able to dip into taxpayer-funded Aid programme to finance abortions in Irish supported developing countries.
Sligo News File.
Developing countries may be allowed to use taxpayer-funded Irish aid for the provision of abortion services. The claim has been made at the same time that theTrump administration has ruled out financially supporting abortion in the United States and abroad.
Ireland distributes hundreds of millions in development aid to several countries including Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Zambia, Liberia and Vietnam.
Now, according to the Irish Times, the Fine Gael-led administration may lift existing restrictions on the use of Irish aid to the third world “as a consequence of the changes to the legislation on abortion in Ireland.”
It reports that the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has said it will launch a new initiative on “sexual and reproductive health and rights” in the developing world as part of the work of Irish Aid.
The new plan, it states, “is likely to take account of the changed Irish position on abortion and will set aside a previous rule against funding abortion.”
Many will be shocked if it transpires the government intends to allow Irish aid to be used to support abortion practices abroad. The move, if effected, would contrast starkly with the position in the United States where President Donald Trump has made an order outlawing the distribution of foreign aid to organisations in countries that provide abortions or even counsel women on abortion.
Organisations seeking US aid must certify they were not discussing abortion or advocating for its liberalisation.
President Trump has also proposed a sweeping clampdown on abortion services in the United States itself, with the imposition of severe restrictions on what is known as Title X federal funding for groups such as Planned Parenthood that provide abortion referrals.
The Trump Rule will also ban existing funded organisations from providing abortions if performed in the same facilities as other services financed by federal funds. Funds will be withdrawn from organisations that refer women to another provider for an abortion or procedure.
Trump has been praised by Catholic and other bodies throughout the States for his role in standing up for the sanctity of human life.
Taxpayer-funded Irish aid allocated to third world countries, which has been regularly increased, at present stands at around €820 million annually, and is being awarded on that scale in spite of the growing poverty, homelessness and the chaotically underfunded state of the State’s hospital services at home. The programme is managed by the Development Co-Operation and Africa Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of which the minister is Simon Coveney.
Presently, the government is plying for a seat on the United Nations security council for which it needs the votes of 193 states to win.