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Repeal the Helms Amendment


Enacted in 1973, the Helms amendment has resulted in a near-total ban on U.S. assistance to some of the world’s poorest women who need abortion care.

Though the text of the amendment prohibits the use of foreign-assistance funds to pay for “the performance of abortions as a method of family planning or to motivate or coerce any person to practice abortions,” it has been wrongly interpreted and implemented as a de facto ban on abortion funding at U.S.-funded clinics even when a woman’s life is in danger, or she is a survivor of rape or incest. It has also deterred international health-care providers from offering abortion-related counseling or referrals, and sometimes interfered with tangentially associated care such as safe miscarriage management.

Everyone should be able to decide if, when, how, and with whom they start or grow a family.

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