Dear Member of Congress:
The House of Representatives is expected to vote on final passage of FY2024 Agriculture Appropriations Act (H.R. 4368), FY2024 Department of State, Foreign Operations Appropriations Act (H.R. 4665), and FY2024 Department of Defense Appropriations Act (H.R. 4365).
These bills retain long-standing pro-life protections and include a series of new pro-life provisions. The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) urges you to support H.R. 4368, H.R. 4665, and H.R. 4365.
FY2024 Agriculture Appropriations Act (H.R. 4368)
H.R. 4368 includes a critical provision ending mail-order chemical abortion as well as restoring the requirement that chemical abortion drugs must be dispensed in-person by a health care provider.
On January 3, 2023, President Biden’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suspended protections established for women undergoing chemical abortions, such as seeing the abortionist in person. The in-person requirement ensured that complications, such as an ectopic pregnancy, are ruled out in advance of a woman undergoing a chemical abortion. Mifepristone, the “abortion pill,” has no effect on an ectopic pregnancy and leaves the woman with this life-threatening medical condition. The FDA also permitted pharmacists to dispense chemical abortion drugs, and will permit these dangerous drugs to be sent through the mail.
H.R. 4368 nullifies the Biden Administration’s 2023 action, and would restore at least some guardrails to mitigate the risks that chemical abortion drugs pose to women.
FY2024 Department of State, Foreign Operations Appropriations Act (H.R. 4665)
H.R. 4665 maintains all long-standing pro-life protections, including the Helms Amendment (preventing international abortion funding), the Kemp-Kasten Amendment (prohibiting funding to programs supporting coercive abortion), the Tiahrt Amendment (ensuring voluntary family planning), the Siljander Amendment (preventing lobbying on abortion), and others.
H.R. 4665 would restore the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance program. Under the Trump Administration, a policy known as the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance program was in effect. This vital pro-life policy, also referred to as the Mexico City Policy, was originally adopted by President Reagan and announced at a 1984 population conference in Mexico City. The policy was reinstated by President Bush in 2001 and restored and expanded under President Trump in 2017. This life-saving policy was abandoned by the Biden Administration.
Under the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance program, in order to be eligible for U.S. “population assistance,” 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), lobby to change the abortion laws of host countries, or otherwise “actively promote abortion as a method of family planning.”
The most important characteristic of the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance 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 type of U.S. support. In short, the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance 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, 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 resulting from the policy.
FY2024 Department of Defense Appropriations Act (H.R. 4365)
Federal law (10 U.S.C. § 1093) has long prevented the Department of Defense (DOD) from using funds to perform elective abortions and prevented the DOD from using its facilities to provide abortions.
On October 20, 2022, the Biden Administration’s DOD published a memorandum directing the DOD to pay the travel and transportation costs for military members and dependents to travel to obtain elective abortions.
The federal prohibition against DOD funding elective abortion clearly extends to funding for any item related to the abortion, such as travel and transportation, which has been the case for the entire life of the funding prohibition.
H.R. 4365 would prohibit funding for the October 2022 memorandum.
For the above reasons, the National Right to Life Committee urges you to support H.R. 4368, H.R. 4665, and H.R. 4365.
Should you have any questions, please contact us at (202) 378-8863, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your consideration of NRLC’s position on this important legislation.