By Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ)
Editor’s note. As NRLC has explained, this afternoon the House of Representatives passed H.R. 7608, which contains Fiscal Year 2021 Appropriations for State, Foreign Operations; Agriculture; Interior; and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs. The vote was 244 to 189.
One of the pro-life provisions this would strip away is the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance (PLGHA). Rep. Smith spoke passionately in opposition. As he noted, “The Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance Policy mitigates U.S. taxpayer complicity in global abortion.” The following are excerpts from his remarks
Someday, future generations of Americans will look back on us and wonder how and why a society that prided itself on its commitment to human rights precluded virtually all protection to the weakest and most vulnerable—unborn children.
I believe they will demand to know why dismembering a child with razor-sharp knives, pulverizing an infant with powerful suction devices, or chemically poisoning a baby with any number of toxic “medications,” failed to elicit empathy for victim-babies.
The bill before us today, Mr. Speaker, reverses several modest but important pro-life polices including the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance Policy—which is a 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.
I would note parenthetically, that over the years, I’ve sponsored many amendments on this floor to protect the Mexico City Policy, beginning in 1985.
The policy restored by President Trump, now called the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance Policy, established pro-child safeguards—benign, humane conditions—on about $8.8 billion in annual global health assistance.
For years—under Presidents Clinton and Obama—foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) had been empowered by U.S. taxpayer grant money—to weaken, undermine, or reverse pro-life laws in other nations and to destroy the precious lives of unborn children.
Many 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 mitigates 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—including unborn baby girls and boys. …
No one is expendable or a throwaway.
Mr. Speaker, birth is merely an event—albeit an important one—in the life of a child.
Victim-babies—vulnerable unborn children—and their mothers, absolutely deserve respect, protection and an abundance of compassion.