By Marie Smith
President Donald Trump has reissued and expanded the Mexico City Policy, which prevents foreign non-governmental organizations [NGOs] that perform or promote abortion from receiving U.S. funds unless they pledge to stop performing or promoting abortion as a method of family planning, regardless of the funding source.
The Mexico City Policy (MCP) was first enacted by President Ronald Reagan in 1984 following a population conference in Mexico City and has previously been enacted by Presidents George H. Bush and George W. Bush and repealed by Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
“The Presidential Memorandum Regarding the Mexico City Policy” issued by President Trump not only revokes President Obama’s Memorandum of January 23, 2009, repealing the policy and reinstates President George W. Bush’s Memorandum of January 22, 2001, restoring the Mexico City Policy. It is also modernized to reflect current challenges to the protection of women and children from the violence of abortion.
President Trump has directed the Secretary of State, in coordination with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in the fullest extent allowed by law, to “implement a plan to extend the requirements of the reinstated Memorandum to global health assistance furnished by all departments or agencies.”
The expansion to “all global health assistance furnished by all departments or agencies” reflects President Trump’s commitment to stop use of all U.S. tax payer money for abortion, both in the U.S. and abroad. This action is supported by an overwhelming 83% of Americans who do not want to have their tax dollars used to support abortion in other countries, according to a new Marist Poll [www.nationalrighttolifenews.org/news/2016/08/marist-institute-for-public-opinion-shows-strong-majorities-against-federal-funding-of-abortion-and-limitation-on-abortion/#.WIkAgNQrJko].
The modernization of the policy also reflects the reality that a number of organizations working in the health field, especially maternal, reproductive, and sexual health, have become the greatest proponents of abortion. MCP will support the work of life-affirming organizations that seek to save the lives of both mother and child and do not consider the child “expendable.”
According to Rep. Chris Smith, Co-Chairman of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, “By redirecting taxpayer dollars away from the international abortion industry, President Trump has re-instituted life-affirming protections for unborn children and their mothers. There is political consensus that taxpayer dollars should not fund abortion and the abortion industry.”
He continues, “Without this protection in place, foreign NGOs receiving U.S. government funds promote and perform abortion throughout the world with the imprimatur of the United States.”
Smith explains that these NGOs “also set up additional projects overseas seeking to topple pro-life laws, imposing a new colonialism that fails to respect life-affirming cultures.”
A group of U.S. Senators– Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT), Steve Daines (R-MT), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Ted Cruz (R-TX), John Cornyn (R-TX), and Rand Paul (R-KY)– issued a Senate Resolution to express “the sense of the Senate that the Mexico City policy, or a modernized version thereof, should be permanently established in statute. The resolution also encourages President Trump to immediately take action to reapply the policy.”
Senator Lee stated, “The resolution is a Congressional support document, rooted in legislative and executive history, representing the will of the majority of Americans to see more restrictions on funding for abortion – restrictions President Trump can immediately impose – applied to our foreign aid expenditures of taxpayer dollars.”
Senator Ben Sasse explained his concern, “Americans are humanitarians and the Mexico City Policy reflects our heartfelt compassion for both moms and babies. Nebraskans, including many families who donate to charities that heal and comfort around the world, shouldn’t be forced to export abortions with their tax dollars. We want to support Good Samaritans, not global abortion providers.”
The two giants of the international abortion industry most affected by the pro-life policy–International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and Marie Stopes International (MSI)–have been defunded in the past and again state that they refuse to comply and will not divest themselves from their abortion activities thereby making themselves ineligible for U.S. funding.
Additionally, the Memorandum also directs the Secretary of State “to take all necessary actions, to the extent permitted by law, to ensure that U.S. taxpayer dollars do not fund organizations or programs that support or participate in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization.”
UNFPA has long been criticized for complicity with China’s population control program that routinely employs coerced abortion and forced sterilization to force compliance. The UNFPA website for China includes a number of reports on its work and funding including on integrated sexual and reproductive health.
The Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues extends its sincere thanks to President Donald Trump and his administration for the reissued and modernized Mexico City Policy.
We believe that the new policy is a giant step toward reversing the elitist view of the former administration and its allies that abortion of children in developing countries is an acceptable solution to poverty and a component of sustainable development.
Editor’s note. This appeared at the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues and is reposted with permission