WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump today took executive action to restore a key pro-life policy, sometimes called the “Mexico City Policy.”
The policy announced this morning is similar to a policy that had been in place in Republican administrations since 1984, when it was announced by authority of President Reagan at an international population-control conference in Mexico City.
Under that policy, in order to be eligible for certain types of foreign aid, a private organization must sign a contract promising not to perform abortions (except to save the mother’s life or in cases of rape or incest), not to lobby to change the abortion laws of host countries, or otherwise “actively promote abortion as a method of family planning.”
“We applaud President Trump for putting an end to taxpayer funding of groups that promote the killing of unborn children in developing nations,” said Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee, the nation’s oldest and largest pro-life organization.
The most important characteristic of the Mexico City Policy is that it establishes an eligibility criterion for U.S. funding: If a group is unwilling to agree to avoid promotion of abortion, that group will not receive any of the designated types of U.S. funding. In short, the Mexico City Policy is not about how an organization keeps its books. Rather, it is about the type of groups the United States is going to support.
If a specific organization declines to accept the policy, because it has an ideological commitment to promoting abortion as just one more method of birth control, then the same funds are channeled to other organizations that agree to the contract. There is, therefore, no overall reduction in funding for family planning programs or other programs resulting from the policy.
“Over his eight years in office, President Obama advanced a pro-abortion agenda with executive orders and regulations that were destructive to the lives of many unborn children,” said Jennifer Popik, J.D., National Right to Life federal legislative director. “Today’s executive action by President Trump will get the U.S. out of the business of international abortion advocacy under the guise of family planning.”