Rep. Smith applauds pro-life protections in FY2024 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill

Special thanks to Chairman Mario Diaz-Balart

WASHINGTON—Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Co-Chair of the Congressional Pro-life Caucus, today expressed “profound gratitude” to the House Appropriations Committee for strengthening pro-life protections for unborn children in the Fiscal Year 2024 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (SFOPS) Appropriations bill.

“This bill will help ensure that the foreign programs the United States funds tangibly assist those who need care and do not aid and abet the poisoning, starving or dismembering of unborn children to death,” said Smith, the Chair of the House Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations Subcommittee.

“Among the many programs extended through this critical legislation is PEPFAR—The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief,” said Smith, who authored the most recent PEPFAR Extension Act that was signed into law in 2018. “Through the leadership of Chairwoman Kay Granger and Chairman Mario Diaz-Balart, PEPFAR will see increased funding, key pro-life protections and many significant provisions and authorities protected and extended through 2025.”

“The Diaz-Balart bill clearly increases transparency and accountability with our foreign aid dollars and ensures the US provides true assistance to help those in need including unborn children and their mothers,” said Smith.

Smith said the bill included several provisions that would cut off large slush funds benefiting the international pro-abortion industry and redirect the money to programs that provide tangible humanitarian care and assistance.

“Rather than funding the death of a baby, we must increase access to maternal and prenatal care and ensure access to safe blood and better nutrition,” said Smith. “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 obstetric fistula.”

“Taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize abortion,” said Smith, who citied a Marist poll from earlier this year showing 78 percent of Americans—including 67 percent of those who identify as “pro-choice”—oppose using taxpayer dollars to fund abortions in other countries.

Other longstanding provisions in the FY2024 SFOPS Appropriations bill include the:

  • Helms Amendment: Protects taxpayer dollars from paying for abortion internationally (The Helms Amendment has been enacted FY 1980, 1986-2023);
  • Siljander Amendment: Prevents federal funding from being used to lobby for or against abortion (The Siljander Amendment has been enacted FY 1981-2023);
  • Tiahrt Amendment: Ensures that population control funds are only used in programs which are certified to be voluntary in every respect. (The Tiahrt Amendment has been enacted FY 1999-2023);
  • Kemp-Kasten Amendment: Allows the President to discontinue funding to organizations that support or participate in the management of a coercive abortion program (The Kemp-Kasten Amendment has been enacted FY 1985-2023);
  • Peace Corp Abortion Funding Prevention: Prevents Peace Corps money from being used to pay for abortion, except in cases of rape, incest, and to save the life of the mother (This amendment has been enacted FY 1979-2023);
  • HIV/AIDS Notwithstanding Provision: Ensures that funds to assist individuals diagnosed with HIV/AIDS and other diseases are governed by existing pro-life riders that govern foreign aid (This amendment has been enacted FY 2004-2023); and
  • Redirects Funding Appropriated to UNFPA: Directly prohibits   funding to the UNFPA based on its complicity in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s coercive family planning programs.

Language added to protect taxpayer dollars from being redirected to bankroll the international abortion industry:

  • Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance: Consistent with action taken during the Trump Administration, the bill redirects taxpayer funding from foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that perform, actively promote, or lobby for elective abortion;
  • Redirects funding from the Gender Equity and Equality Action Fund (partnering with pro-abortion organizations) to programs that promote true empowerment and assistance for women and girls;
  • Reduces and limits international family planning account that enriches both foreign and domestically-based pro-abortion organizations (In one year alone, pro-abortion domestic organizations received $41 million through this account);
  • Includes report language requiring assurance, before the Committee supports providing funds, that multilateral organizations comply with pro-life requirements given entities within the United Nations defining abortion as health care or a right within their organizational definition; and
  • (Adds additional reporting requirements to conduct oversight on how prime and subgrantees are using federal funding