WASHINGTON, DC, July 28, 2011 ( – A house bill that includes a provision banning foreign aid from going to groups that promote or perform abortion would be “debilitating,” according to Secretary of State Hilary Clinton.


In a letter to the Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Clinton cited the reinstatement of the Mexico City policy, along with numerous other provisions in H.R. 2583, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, as reason for “profound concern.”

“The net effect of these and other restrictions in the bill would be debilitating to my efforts to carry out a considered foreign policy and diplomacy, and to use foreign assistance strategically to that end,” she wrote.

Clinton added that she would recommend to the president that he veto the bill if it were presented to him for signature.

A U.S. policy against abortion-related foreign aid money was first instituted by President Ronald Reagan, who announced the decision at a conference in Mexico City. The “Mexico City policy” was later abolished by President Clinton, reinstated by President George W. Bush, and then abolished again by President Obama three days after his inauguration.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee voted 25-17 last week to reinstate the policy through a provision added to the Foreign Relations Authorization Act.

Ros-Lehtinen defended the bill’s provisions last week as necessary restrictions on government spending, The Hill reports.

“I hear the demands of the American people to stop the spending spree, and that is why I am unwilling to agree to the huge overall spending increase that the President wanted in this bill,” she said.

It is considered unlikely that the bill’s restrictions on abortion funding will be approved by the Democrat-controlled Senate.