Congress Squashes Latest Attempts to Revive Mexico City Policy

Despite Gallup Poll finding that Americans opposed, 65 percent to 35 percent, Obama's executive order reversing the policy
Thu Jul 9, 2009 - 12:15 pm EST

By Peter J. Smith

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 9, 2009 ( - Pro-life legislators were defeated in their efforts to restrict the flow of federal funds to overseas organizations involved in promoting abortion, as Congressional Democrats rejected an amendment that would have reinstated the Mexico City Policy rescinded by President Obama.

House Representatives Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Chris Smith (R-N.J.), Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) had requested the House Rules Committee to allow their amendment to reinstate the Mexico City policy to come to the floor for an up-or-down vote by the full House. The amendment would have been added under the rules specified in H. Res 617, which determines the time allotted for debate and what amendments can be included for when the Foreign Operations appropriations bill (HR 3018) comes to a vote.

HR 3081 increases funding for population control or "family planning services" to $648 million - a 40 percent increase in such spending for the Foreign Ops budget from the 2008 fiscal year.

However, the Democratic-controlled Rules Committee last night rejected the Congressmen's bid to give Congress the chance to prevent federal "family planning" funds from falling into the hands of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that perform abortions or lobby against the abortion laws of other countries.

Congressman Smith told the Rules Committee that he did not want to see NGOs from turning these funds into "the Trojan horse for the global abortion industry" in developing nations, especially in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

"If we allow that, President Obama's talk of wanting to reduce abortions either at home or abroad will be reduced to cheap political sophistry," contended Smith.

The full House, however, convened Thursday afternoon and voted to pass H. Res. 617 with 223 votes in favor, 200 against, and nine abstentions. H. Res. 617 approves of the current rules, which preclude the House from considering the Mexico City amendment when the Foreign Operations bill (HR 3018) finally comes before the full House for a vote.

Smith argued that the vast majority of the people of the United States did not support President Obama's decision to rescind the Mexico City Policy.

"Americans clearly agree with our efforts to reinstate the Mexico City Policy," emphasized Smith. "Even while largely agreeing with his other executive orders, the Gallup Poll found that by a margin of almost two fold, 65 percent to 35 percent, Americans opposed President Obama's executive order reversing the Reagan-era Mexico City Policy."

"And of course they would," stated Smith. "The United Sates is clearly trending pro-life - ultrasound technology has shattered the myth that an unborn child is not a person."

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