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Dr. Anthony Fauci says the Biden administration will abandon former President Trump’s policy of banning US foreign aid from going to international organizations that promote or perform abortions.
The infectious disease expert, serving as President Biden’s chief medical adviser, announced the move Thursday on the eve of the 48th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
On Friday, the White House doubled down on its commitment to ensuring access to abortions.
A statement attributed to Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris said: “In the past four years, reproductive health, including the right to choose, has been under relentless and extreme attack. We are deeply committed to making sure everyone has access to care – including reproductive health care – regardless of income, race, zip code, health insurance status, or immigration status.”
The statement continued: “The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to codifying Roe v. Wade and appointing judges that respect foundational precedents like Roe. We are also committed to ensuring that we work to eliminate maternal and infant health disparities, increase access to contraception, and support families economically so that all parents can raise their families with dignity. This commitment extends to our critical work on health outcomes around the world.”
Fauci’s notice said that the administration will undo the “Mexico City Policy” that had restricted use of foreign aid for abortions.
“President Biden will be revoking the Mexico City Policy in the coming days, as part of his broader commitment to protect women’s health and advance gender equality at home and around the world,” Fauci told a World Health Organization Executive Board meeting, according to a copy of his prepared remarks released by the White House.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Thursday said Biden is a “devout Catholic” in response to a question about the Mexico City Policy. The Catholic church opposes legal access to abortion, though Catholic politicians have a range of policy positions.
The anniversary of Roe v. Wade, which made abortion legal nationwide, is an annual flashpoint in Washington, though this year organizers of the March for Life anti-abortion rally called off the protest due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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