Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Linking abortion to climate change

Monday, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and 10 other Senators introduced the U.S. CLIMATE Act (S. 1201). Title VI of this legislation is the Women and Climate Change Act by Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI).

In Section 602, the bill finds, “(13) The ability of women to adapt to climate change is constrained by underlying gender inequality, including a lack of” “(C) access to financial resources, education, family planning, and reproductive healthcare services”, a legal euphemism for abortion.

In Section 605, the bill (a) establishes “in the Department of State the Federal Interagency Working Group on Women and Climate Change” which (d) functions to “(1) coordinate and integrate the development of all policies and activities of the Federal Government” including (5) “collection of data relevant to” “(E) access to comprehensive health care, including reproductive health”.

This legislation is not intended to explore if there is a connection between climate change and abortion. This legislation not only assumes a connection, but gives the government a mandate to act on this conclusion with respect to “all policies and activities of the Federal Government”.

In the last Congress, Senator Hirono introduced the Women and Climate Change Act, S. 868. Its identical companion bill was H.R. 1180. This Congress, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) has reintroduced it as H.R. 260 in the House.

In his statement accompanying the introduction of this legislation, Chairman Menendez said, “Title VI of the U.S. CLIMATE Act integrates our colleague from Hawai'i, Senator Hirono's Women and Climate Change Act, which acknowledges and addresses the disproportionate effects of climate change on women and girls around the world.”

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