Trump Administration Expands International Pro-Life Policy

One of President Donald Trump’s first official actions in January was to put back into effect the Mexico City Policy. That rule, first instituted by President Ronald Reagan, is intended to block U.S. taxpayer money from aiding family planning programs abroad run by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that perform or promote abortion. In his executive order, President Trump also directed the Secretary of State to determine how to extend that policy to “global health assistance furnished by all departments or agencies.”

In compliance with the President’s directive, the State Department announced this week a “Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance” plan applying the Mexico City Policy’s pro-life requirement to a much broader set of “global health assistance” funding, including U.S. programs to address HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health, malaria, global health security, and reproductive health.

While the previous policy, which had been rescinded during the Obama and Clinton administrations, governed a pool of about half a billion dollars, the Trump administration’s new rule will now safeguard nearly nine billion dollars.

In a Daily Signal column, Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), a champion for human life and human dignity who chairs the Global Health Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said:

For years, pro-abortion organizations have used U.S. taxpayer funds to weaken, undermine, or reverse pro-life laws in other nations and systematically destroy the precious lives of unborn children. Scores of 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 will significantly mitigate U.S. taxpayer complicity in global abortion.

Significantly, the new rule does not reduce the amount of funding designated for global health programs. Rather, it simply ensures abortion activists are not subsidized by those American taxpayer dollars.

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations

Published: May 19, 2017

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