In a letter sent late last week, National Right to Life (NRLC) and several other pro-life organizations urged President Trump to tell Congress that the Shaheen amendment is a “poison pill” and that Congress should remove this language before final passage of any appropriations package.
The Shaheen amendment, offered by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), was included in the Senate’s State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs (SFOPS) appropriations bill.
“The Shaheen amendment would weaken the Trump Administration’s Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance (PLGHA) policy as well as other administration initiatives protecting life,” stated Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “This amendment is anti-life and would jeopardize this administration’s efforts to protect life both here and abroad.”
The Shaheen amendment would increase money for a “highly controversial earmark for international family planning” from $575 million to 632.55 million. In the letter, NRLC and the other organizations noted that “more money for this earmark exploits an aspect of the PLGHA that allows this account to serve as a taxpayer-funded supplemental for U.S.-based NGOs that actively promote abortions overseas.”
In addition, the amendment would require new reporting requirements for the USAID’s New Partnership Initiative that would create a “blacklist” that would penalize and discourage faith-based or community providers who are pro-life or pro-family. The amendment would also require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to “conduct a one-sided” review of the pro-life policies of the Trump Administration.
“The Shaheen amendment is a blatant attempt to impose pro-abortion policies and earmarks,” stated Tobias. “It also violates the Bipartisan Budget Agreement for Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021 by adding this poison pill and increasing spending levels. National Right to Life, along with several other pro-life organizations, urges President Trump to tell Congress to reject the Shaheen amendment.