Security for the unborn or the recently bombed?


Issue: "Is there no tomorrow?," Aug. 7, 1999

It is an annual rite of the Washington budget process for pro-life lawmakers to seek spending-bill amendments that will restrict federal funding of overseas abortion and family-planning programs. In this way, they have limited Clinton administration funding expeditions for the UN Family Planning Agency and other groups that support abortions overseas.

This year's consciousness-raising presented some lawmakers with a Hobson's choice: Voting in favor of an amendment offered by Rep. Chris Smith

(R-N.J.) to limit abortion spending would scotch a $2.4 billion foreign-affairs bill because President Clinton promised to veto the UNFPA restrictions. And bill passage is a must, given the pressure on both Republicans and Democrats to improve embassy security worldwide. The bill contained $1.4 billion to beef up embassy security. Attacks against embassies in Kenya and Tanzania a year ago proved that U.S. installations are vulnerable. The embassy in Kenya is one of a dozen that U.S. officials had named as lacking a proper protective cordon. Since the blasts, several embassies in Africa, and the U.S. post in Pakistan, have been closed intermittently due to bomb threats.

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The Senate approved a more modest approach, authorizing only $300 million next year to improve embassy security. The House went with its $1.4 billion package July 21. But House lawmakers did not "choose life" for everyone: They defeated the Smith amendment, 221-198, clearing the way for $25 million to UNFPA and its population-control activities.

Mindy Belz
Mindy Belz

Mindy travels to the far corners of the globe as the editor of WORLD and lives with her family in the mountains of western North Carolina. Follow Mindy on Twitter @mcbelz.


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