WASHINGTON, D.C., October 10, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Pro-life leaders are calling on President Donald Trump and Republican congressional leaders to refuse to support an upcoming spending bill as long as it contains an amendment that would restore some foreign aid to pro-abortion organizations, in direct violation of one of Trump’s earliest pro-life actions.
Shortly after taking office in 2017, Trump not only reinstated the Mexico City Policy, which bars the United States’ $8.8 billion in foreign aid from being distributed to entities that perform abortions, but took the additional step of expanding it to groups that promote or discuss abortion.
As LifeSiteNews covered Wednesday, Conservative Partnership Institute senior policy director Rachel Bovard is sounding the alarm over an amendment that Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-New Hampshire, added to a recent foreign affairs spending bill that would provide almost $60 million several U.S.-based organizations that list abortion as part of their core mission.
Shaheen boasted in a September 30 press release that she also added funding to the United Nations Population Fund, from which the Trump administration withdrew in 2017 over its participation in China’s forced abortion regime.
Republicans controlling the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the bill via voice vote, without objecting to the Shaheen amendment, despite an August agreement by both parties that spending bills negotiated in September would contain “no poison pills, additional new riders, additional CHIMPS, or other changes in policy or conventions that allow for higher spending levels, or any non-appropriations measures unless agreed to on a bipartisan basis by the four leaders with the approval of the President.”
If the Shaheen language is not removed before the bill clears the Senate, it is likely to become law. Despite taking multiple executive actions to protect life, President Trump has repeatedly demonstrated he is unwilling to veto spending bills that contain abortion dollars.
“This is a non-starter, and under the bipartisan budget agreement Republican leaders have the opportunity to insist the Shaheen amendment is dropped,” Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser told LifeSiteNews in response. “We trust that President Trump, Senate Majority Leader McConnell and House Minority Leader McCarthy will continue to stand against efforts to weaken the extraordinary progress made by the Trump Administration in implementing pro-life policies internationally by rejecting the Shaheen amendment.”
“169 Members of the House, 49 Senators and the President himself at the 2019 March for Life made it clear that they will accept no changes to current pro-life policy,” March for Life Action president Tom McClusky declared. “It is unfortunate that Senate Republican Leadership have allowed this bill to go forward despite this. The legislation needs to be pulled or Senate Republican Leadership should expect a Presidential veto.”
LifeSiteNews has reached out to numerous pro-life organizations for comment, and will update this report as more weigh in.
LifeSiteNews also launched a petition Thursday urging President Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senate Republicans to ensure the pro-abortion language does not become law.
“In acting to remove this deadly language, Senate Republicans would do well to remember that they should want to stoke, not dampen, pro-lifers' enthusiasm just before an election year,” the petition reminds the GOP. “But, should an unaltered bill reach President Trump's desk, we must remind him of the promise he made not to sign any abortion legislation … just this year, at the March for Life.”
“American taxpayers should not be forced to pay $60 million to support the killing of the unborn,” the LifeSite petition declares.