“It’s not enough to speak, but to speak true.” (William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
On Day One of the 116th Congress, the new House debated and passed landmark legislation to rescind Trump’s Global Gag Rule—that mean, mealy measure which has already caused untold pain and spurred faster population growth.
Opposition to the repeal of the Global Gag Rule was mounted by Trump’s congressional cronies. They steered their usual wide berth around the facts.
Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC-5) falsely asserted, “This bill would allow taxpayers to fund abortions in foreign countries.” The newly minted chair of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY-17), set the record straight: “I just want to make something perfectly clear. The United States does not and cannot fund abortions. Let me say that again. The United States does not and cannot fund abortions, period.” (This is due to the 46-year-old Helms Amendment, which we want to see canceled.)
Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA-4) then mewled that the law would “allow taxpayer dollars to be sent overseas to promote abortion as a method for family planning.” Had Johnson bothered to read the bill, he’d have known that Section 7018 specifically prohibits using any U.S. funds for abortion as a method of family planning. Johnson did find time to make headlines by hysterically and falsely claiming that atheists (from California, no less!) were spying on high school students in his congressional district. This untrue assertion relates to a federal lawsuit seeking to halt the coercion of non-Christian students in a local public school.
Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD-1) bleated that we’d be “sending money overseas for forced sterilization and forced abortion.” A reading of the 209-word Section 7018 of the bill would have shown him otherwise. Seemingly too busy to read—or even skim—bills, Harris did find time in January to meet with a notorious white supremacist and Holocaust denier.
Despite hackneyed histrionics, the bill to repeal the Global Gag Rule passed with zero Republican support. Alas, it thereupon fell into the bottomless pit presided over by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
Nonetheless, the House has now laid down a major marker, which also has the firm support of 47 senators. Yes, we’re still short of our goal at a time when the slightest glance at the headlines triggers gloom. But despair is cheap coinage.
Each day provides another opportunity to make progress toward population stabilization. We will persist.
Our Cover Story
When the founder of the field of sociobiology, E. O. Wilson, was born in 1929, world population had just topped 2 billion. Now we’re rapidly approaching 8 billion. In just 90 years, the number of people on our planet has nearly quadrupled.
Dr. Wilson has pointed out, “Only in the last moment of human history has the delusion arisen that people can flourish apart from the rest of the living world.” We’d do well to heed this warning.