No, seriously — does it? I know, I know: The question itself sounds like a stupid conservative caricature of liberal excess. But a friend sent along the text of the following provision, which is buried on page 930 of the president’s FY 2015 budget proposal. She thought it looked “fishy.” I must agree:
Perhaps a budget expert can steer me in the right direction here, but that passage certainly reads like a proposal to allocate $575 million in taxpayer dollars to fund abortions (“reproductive health” is the correct euphemism, yes?) in corners of the globe where human population growth is deemed (by whom?) to be “threatening” plants and animals. A creepy Malthusian dystopia. I keep trying to convince myself that I must be misinterpreting this, but I also remember that upon entering office, President Obama appointed a “science czar” with a disturbing paper trail. In a 2009 Politifact analysis — which rated some conservative criticisms of John Holdren “pants on fire” false — the left-leaning fact-checkers conceded that Holdren did, in fact, co-author a volume that discussed a number of radical population control measures:
In a section on “Involuntary Fertility Control,” Holdren and the other authors discuss various “coercive” means of population control — including putting sterilants in the drinking water. But they stop well short of advocating such measures…Later, the authors conclude, “Most of the population control measures beyond family planning discussed above have never been tried. Some are as yet technically impossible and others are and probably will remain unacceptable to most societies … “Compulsory control of family size is an unpalatable idea, but the alternatives may be much more horrifying”…The authors argue that compulsory abortions could potentially be allowed under U.S. law “if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society.” Again, that’s a far cry from advocating or proposing such a position.
The point of dredging this up is not to relitigate the Holdren controversy; it’s simply a reminder that the Obama administration has embraced some rather extreme figures and policy positions on these issues. So again I ask, with all sincerity: Does the president’s new budget propose funding overseas abortions to combat “threats” to “biodiversity”? Or am I missing something? Maybe this idea is limited to various forms of birth control, which is covered by the “family planning” distinction. But as I noted above, “reproductive health” is one of the Left’s code words for abortion. One of this president’s first official acts was to lift the federal restriction on subsidizing abortions abroad, so he’s unlikely to harbors any moral qualms on this. In any case, what’s the explanation for the environmentalist stipulations?
UPDATE – A Capitol Hill budget maven notes that President Bush’s last budget contained somewhat similar language, but within the context of fighting AIDS, not saving the planet. The Bush administration also barred taxpayer funds from financing overseas abortions.