How black money fuels attacks on abortion rights around the world

A media investigation open democracy revealed on Friday that black money groups that organized the far-right attack on reproductive freedoms in the United States have also spent at least $ 28 million in recent years to roll back the rights of women and people LGBTQ + around the world.

The new analysis shows that leading anti-abortion groups including Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), Federalist Society, American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Family Research Council and Focus on the Family and Heartbeat International have “been involved in recent efforts to limit reproductive rights in Europe and Latin America”.

Organizations form this open democracy described as “the global ‘black money’ empire of the American Christian right,” which exports its legal strategy, army of lawyers and resources abroad to prevent and reverse international progress in human rights issues. access to abortion.

ADF, a far-right Christian legal advocacy group linked to Judge Amy Coney Barrett, has spent years laying the groundwork for the draconian abortion ban in Mississippi in the heart of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a Supreme Court case that could jeopardize reproductive freedoms in the United States


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But ADF’s influence extends far beyond its home country. According to open democracy, the organization, whose global arm is called ADF International, spent $ 15.3 million between 2016 and 2019 to fight abortion rights abroad.

“The European offices of the ACLJ and the ADF have intervened in dozens of European legal cases against sexual and reproductive rights,” the newspaper notes. “Last year, the Polish Constitutional Court voted to ban abortion for fetal malformations. [ACLJ] presented arguments in favor of the new restrictions, condemned by the Council of Europe as a serious “violation of human rights”.

“The European branch of the ACLJ also intervened for the first time before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights”, open democracy observed. “The government of El Salvador, where abortion is illegal in all circumstances, has been prosecuted for the imprisonment and death of a woman who had miscarried.”

As for the Federalist Society, of which the six current right-wing Supreme Court justices are either current or former members, “Europe was the main destination for foreign spending., openDemocracy find.

“Europeans are too naive to think that progress in women’s rights and sexual and reproductive health is irreversible,” Sophie in ‘t Veld, Dutch member of the European Parliament, told the newspaper. “The anti-choice movement not only has a lot of money, it also has a plan and determination. Europe should wake up, and it should wake up quickly.”

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While under U.S. tax law, far-right groups have largely been successful in hiding their sources of funding from the public, open democracy reviewed “Donor Disclosed Financial Information” showing that the National Christian Foundation (NCF) and Fidelity Charitable donated $ 93 million to organizations between 2016 and 2020.

Feminist researcher Sonia Corrêa of Sexuality Policy Watch said open democracyThe report “once again exposes the long-standing organic ties between anti-abortion forces in the United States and Latin America.”

Neil Datta, secretary of the European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual and Reproductive Rights, also argued that the findings “further demonstrate the growing tendency of religious extremists to forge cross-border alliances to advance … pseudo-legal arguments and engage in formal legal processes aimed at undoing the fabric of human rights protection.

In an editorial for the New York Times Thursday, open democracyMary Fitzgerald argued that while the United States Supreme Court upheld the Mississippi abortion ban and Roe vs. Wade, the nation “will join a small group of increasingly authoritarian countries that have become more restrictive on abortion in recent years.”

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Fitzgerald went on to cite specific examples:

The Polish Constitutional Court ruled last year on a retrograde abortion ban, which effectively banned abortion in all cases except rape, incest or the threat of death or health for the mother, after the ruling Law and Justice party filled the court.

Hungarian Viktor Orban is stepping up his discourse on “family values”, and a 2016 United Nations report criticized the country for obstructing access to abortion.

Vladimir Putin’s Russia has just joined the Geneva Consensus Declaration with the misleading title: a document co-sponsored by the United States under the Trump administration with repressive governments including the Brazil of Jair Bolsonaro, the Hungary of Mr. Orban, the Egypt of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, and signed by dozens of the world’s most repressive regimes, from Saudi Arabia to Uganda. (President Biden announced in January that the United States would withdraw.) The authors of the statement also claim that there is no international right to abortion.

“Later this month, President Biden will host the Democracy Summit, with a key focus on promoting human rights around the world,” Fitzgerald noted. “But as U.S. courts continue to dismantle basic rights enjoyed by countless other modern democracies, the most pressing question must be: how can democracy do its job at home if only half the population enjoys all human rights? “


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