BANÍ, Dominican Republic (LifeSiteNews) —According to one of the Dominican Republic’s Catholic Bishops, the American embassy has recently issued the following warning to legislators in the Bishop’s Island nation:
“If they don’t legalize abortion and write LGBT protections into law, they’re gonna be without visas,” ~Bishop to the Domincan Republic, Bishop Victor Masalles
On February 4, 2021, the Biden White House ordered “departments and agencies … engaged abroad to ensure that United States diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons everywhere,” building on an initiative that began in 2011 under then-President Barack Obama.
Bishop Víctor Masalles announced that the pressure the Dominican Republic is facing to legalize abortion is intense.
The Bishop maintained that his “government knows the Congress is pro-life, and that’s a beautiful thing,” Nonetheless:
“The president of the Senate [and] the president of the representatives” have been put on notice by the U.S. that they need to liberalize their laws or face diplomatic sanctions such as the loss of visas.” according to Massalles.
“Agencies involved with foreign aid, assistance, and development programs shall expand their ongoing efforts to ensure regular Federal Government engagement with governments, citizens, civil society, and the private sector to promote respect for the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons and combat discrimination,” President Joe Biden ordered. “And “[w]hen foreign governments move to restrict the rights of LGBTQI+ persons or fail to enforce legal protections in place, thereby contributing to a climate of intolerance, agencies engaged abroad shall consider appropriate responses, including using the full range of diplomatic and assistance tools and, as appropriate, financial sanctions, visa restrictions, and other actions.”
However, a provision in U.S. law called the Siljander Amendment, which has been renewed every year since 1981 in the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, bans the use of any U.S. funds to lobby for (or against) abortion abroad. Pro-life American legislators and lobby groups have long complained the Siljander Amendment is not well-enforced and have called for it to be applied more broadly.
In 2018, nine U.S. senators asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for an end to public funding to two organizations promoting abortion in Latin America, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the Inter-American Commission on Women (Comisión Interamericana sobre la Mujer — CIM).
On March 26, 2022, there will be a pro-life car caravan demonstration on the island nation. March 25 is a national day for the unborn child, Bishop Masalles noted.
And powerful foreign elites pour millions of dollars into legalizing abortion in the Dominican Republic annually, he said.