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Debate: Should US foreign aid be tied to recipient abortion policy?

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Background and Context of Debate:

US foreign aid helps provide support, care, supplies, protection, money and economic growth. Their contributions to countries are categorized into four different groups: bilateral development aid, economic assistance supporting U.S. political and security goals, humanitarian aid, and multilateral economic contributions. These groups organize the ability to give aid to different countries making it easier for the US to help people in struggling countries by determining what category they are in. Humanitarian aid: o HIV & AIDS o Nutrition o Family planning o Child health o Hospitals Family planning: o Child health o Hospitals o Maternal help o Infection/disease Multilateral aid: o Military affairs o Capable partners o Development alliance Economic assistance: o Democracy & government o Financial markets o Energy o Water control o Food Bilateral development: o Agriculture o Land management o City building o Livestock o markets

In the 1960’s foreign aid focused on adoption, instead of helping women prevent pregnancy and help provide alternative plans. The gag rule was in forced by President Ronald Reagan. It prevented anyone getting aid from an American family service from discussing abortion or providing abortion options.

On his first day in office in 2001, President Bush in forced the gag rule, which prevented any aid to a foreign country from the government to allow help with:

• AID prevention, • legal abortion, • conducting public education campaigns regarding abortion • Accessing contraceptives. Now President Obama is working on restoring a category that supplies funds that allow help in this part of foreign aid.

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Is is fair for foreign countries to be denied aid because of their policies?

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Pro

- Yes, it is fair. Why should we give a country our money if their policies are different from ours? It doesn't make sense to fund something we don't believe in or have any part in. It doesn't matter if they are giving abortion or cutting off the toes of kids born in January either way it's something that our country doesn't agree with. It’s our money and we can decide what we do with it.


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Con

  • It is not fair. If a country is in need of support from another country and the country is denied money and/or resources because of a policy it is wrong. The country that gives, cannot control the other countries policies and laws. People should not deny resources due to a law that has nothing to due what the country is asking for. If Peru was asking for foreign aid to help with their HIV & AIDS problem, and the US denied the aid due to that countries abortion policy, would that be right? Does abortion have anything to do with HIV & AIDS? Should the US restrict their ability to give because of a policy that has nothing to do with the original problem? No, policies should not come in the way of supporting a country. Because every country is different and all policies are different. If we start to put policies in categories then we are trying to create a world where everything is the same, all laws are the same and their is not any differences. This idea goes against everything anyone has fought for, be unique, be yourself, that is what we are taught in school. We should hold ourselves to it, and allow people to be different. This can apply to bigger situations, we should allow countries to be different, and have their own policies and still fund them if they need help.


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Should foreign countries have to change their policies to receive foreign aid?

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Pro

- Would you spend money to help someone pay for something that you don't think they should be doing? Of course not! If their policies don't match what we believe then they shouldn't expect us to fund them unless their policies change to be more relevant to ours.





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Con

Making a country change their policy is putting the other country in a dominant position. By forcing a country to legally change a policy, it makes each country unequal. It causes the sense of equality to be put to the side. Even though every human is equal, we are all the same, no matter where we are from. So why should one country change a policy, and not both?


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Would funding abortion cause more people to get abortions?

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Pro

- No. Unwanted pregnancies cause abortions.



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Con

No, funding abortions would just give women resources. All over the world there is illegal and unsafe abortion happening, because the state or country does not provide citizens a safe and supportive place to go for abortions. By allowing them we would allow women a healthier place to perform the procedure, which would save many lives that are lost by illegally trying to abort the baby. I believe that by allowing abortions, the number of women that have them would not go up, however the number that stay healthy after an abortion would increase. Many people have them, whether they do it illegally or legally.




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