Three Republicans vote to fund foreign organizations that perform abortions
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 10, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- Three Republicans in the U.S. Senate voted to give U.S. taxpayer dollars to foreign organizations that perform or promote abortions.
The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday voted on an amendment to break the long-standing pro-life law, also called the Mexico City Policy, which essentially blocks funds from any international group offering or referring abortion services. The amendment to repeal the pro-life rule passed 17-13.
The repeal attempt would not have passed, except three Republicans broke ranks and voted for the repeal of the measure, which pro-abortion politicians derided as an international "gag order."
Senators Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Mark Kirk of Illinois all voted for the global funding of abortion groups, which was proposed as part of the 2016 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill.
President Obama had already overturned the provisions via executive order, as former President Clinton also had done, and the official repeal merely legalizes his administration's funding for international abortion organizations. Working with Senate Democrats, the Obama administration has successfully stopped the pro-life "gag" rule, also called the Mexico City Policy, since 2011.
The amendment would also restore about $600 million in funding worldwide to groups that advise, refer, and perform abortions on expectant mothers, including funding for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The UNFPA works with the Chinese government managing their "one-child" policy of forced abortions, sterilizations, and contraception.
In 1998, the UNFPA admitted to Congress that it had contracted to create "Model Birth Control Counties" in 32 Chinese counties. Since then, the UNFPA has added 40 more counties, for a total of 72.
The Population Research Institute (PRI) did a three-year, in-depth investigation which concluded, "The UNFPA is directly responsible for forced abortions and forced sterilizations in China."
PRI President Steven Mosher reported that the investigation found "the extraordinary police powers given to the population cadres have resulted in numerous abuses, including the abduction and selling of 'illegal' children." He says that Chinese villagers who give birth to a second child are literally fined 3-5 times a year's salary and are sterilized; if they cannot afford to pay these crippling fines, they often have their “illegal” children abducted and sold by Chinese population control officials.
Sen. Kirk is up for reelection and is considered vulnerable, so he sought to gain favor with his state's pro-abortion Democrats and independents. Murkowski, a reliably center-left vote in the Republican caucus, is also up for reelection in 2016.
Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who chairs the panel overseeing the bill, urged a "No" vote, pointing out that increasing tax dollars for the UN Population Fund supports “abortions and sterilization in China.” He said senators should not "put taxpayer dollars in an area where most Americans don’t want it to go."
Democrats are blocking all spending bills, holding out for a larger spending deal, so the foreign operations bill may not make it into the final bill. Nevertheless, it was a significant victory for global abortion funding, as Politico noted, because "the vote sends a signal about the potential for evolving GOP mindsets on the topic" of abortion funding.