Trump’s Expansion of Mexico City Policy Is a Major Victory in Protecting Life

By Rep. Chris Smith

Rep. Chris Smith

Rep. Chris Smith

Someday, future generations of Americans will look back on us and wonder how and why such a rich and seemingly enlightened society, so blessed and endowed with the capacity to protect and enhance vulnerable human life, could have instead so aggressively promoted death to children by abortion—both here and overseas.

They will note that we prided ourselves on our commitment to human rights, while precluding virtually all protection to the most persecuted minority in the world today—unborn children.

And they will demand to know why dismembering a child with sharp knives, pulverizing an infant with powerful suction devices, or chemically poisoning a baby with any number of toxic chemicals failed to elicit in so many so much as a scintilla of empathy, mercy, or compassion for the victims.

Abortion is violence against children, and hurts women.

This week, the Trump administration announced the implementation of the new Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance Policy—a significant reiteration and expansion of President Ronald Reagan’s Mexico City Policy.

Announced by Reagan at the United Nations Conference on Population Control in Mexico City in 1984—hence its name—the policy was and is designed to ensure that U.S. taxpayer money is not funneled to foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that perform or promote abortion as a method of family planning.

Both Presidents Bush embraced the policy, while Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama nullified it.

Thirty-two years ago—in July of 1985—I authored the first of several successful annual amendments on the floor of the House of Representatives to preserve the Mexico City Policy.

Significantly, the old Mexico City Policy only applied to family planning funds—over half a billion dollars.

The new policy establishes pro-child safeguards—benign, humane conditions—on about $8.8 billion in annual global health assistance funding appropriated to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Departments of State and Defense.

This funding includes not only family planning, but other global health assistance such as maternal and child health, malaria and HIV/AIDs.

Also of significance, the new pro-child, pro-woman safeguards do not reduce funding for global health assistance by so much as a dollar.

According to State Department guidance, the policy only applies to foreign NGOs as grantees or sub-grantees. Other potential recipients of global health assistance grant money—including national and sub-national governments—are exempt, as are refugee and migration assistance programs.

President Donald Trump’s Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance Policy includes three abortion exceptions—for rape, incest, and to save the life of the mother. Nothing in the policy prevents foreign NGOs from treating injuries or illnesses that were caused by any abortion.

For years, pro-abortion organizations have used U.S. taxpayer funds to weaken, undermine, or reverse pro-life laws in other nations and systematically destroy the precious lives of unborn children.

Scores of countries throughout the world have been besieged by aggressive and well-funded campaigns to overturn their pro-life laws and policies.

The Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance Policy will significantly mitigate U.S. taxpayer complicity in global abortion.

U.S. foreign policy—and the foreign entities we fund with billions of dollars in grant money—should consistently affirm, care for, and tangibly assist women and children.

We must increase access to maternal and prenatal care, and ensure access to safe blood and better nutrition.

We must also expand essential obstetrical services, including skilled birth attendants, while improving transportation to emergency care facilities to significantly reduce maternal mortality and morbidity—including from obstetric fistula.

Prioritizing programs that ensure adequate nutrition and supplementation for moms and children during the all-important first 1,000 days of life—from conception to the second birthday—are among the most transformative, life-enhancing commitments that can be made.

Expanding these measures make women and children healthier, stronger, and more resilient to disease and disability while reducing death and injury.

No one is expendable or a throwaway. Every human life has infinite value. Birth is merely an event, not the beginning of the life of a child.

The new Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance Policy is inclusive of all people, regardless of their age, race, sex, disability, or condition of dependency—especially the weakest and most vulnerable

Editor’s note. This appeared at the Daily Signal and is reposted with permission. Rep. Smith (R-NJ)is co-chair of the House Pro-Life Caucus.