UPDATE: Trump signed the order defunding foreign pro-abortion groups on January 23. See story here.
WASHINGTON, D.C., January 20, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – President-elect Donald Trump is planning to reinstitute the pro-life “Mexico City Policy” banning U.S. funding to pro-abortion groups overseas, according to a new report.
The liberal site Foreign Policy, relying on a congressional source, says he will do it by the 44th anniversary of Roe v. Wade on January 22.
The Mexico City Policy, first instituted by President Ronald Reagan in 1984, restricts U.S. overseas funding to groups that offer or aggressively promote abortion. Since Reagan, it has been successively implemented by Republican presidents, and repealed by Democratic presidents.
Obama overturned the Mexico City policy on Jan. 23, 2009 as a “presidential memorandum,” one of his first executive acts as the first Democratic president since Bill Clinton.
The National Right to Life Committee stated at the time of Obama’s first pro-abortion executive act:
The pro-life policy on foreign aid was originally adopted by President Reagan in 1984 and formally announced at a UN-sponsored conference in Mexico City–hence the name “Mexico City Policy.” It was continued by President George H.W. Bush, overturned by President Bill Clinton, and restored by President George W. Bush.
Basically, the policy required grantees to refrain from performing abortions (except to save the life of the mother, or in cases of rape or incest), or lobbying to legalize abortion, or otherwise promoting abortion as a birth-control method. Critics disparaged the policy as a ‘global gag rule.’
Democrats are already planning to fight Trump in Congress if he reverses course by restoring the policy, an effort sure to fail given the Republican majorities in both houses. When Obama rescinded it in 2009, pro-life icon Rep. Chris Smith, R-NJ, told LifeSiteNews: “President Obama is demonstrating that he aspires to be the abortion president…There is no doubt in my mind that by giving the green light to population control groups like Planned Parenthood and others to promote abortion overseas that there will be more abortions.”
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, criticized Barack Obama in 2009 for making his “first presidential decision to roll back the commonsense Mexico City Policy,” which she dismissed as an “abortion bailout.”
“It's unfortunate that President Obama has made subsidizing international abortion groups one of his first priorities, even as abortion numbers here at home are on the decline. America should respond to women's needs in developing countries with real assistance that also upholds their dignity, not by promoting or paying for abortions,” Dannenfelser said. “I am disappointed by President Obama's decision to bypass the will of American taxpayers and promote the radical agenda of Planned Parenthood and the abortion lobby.”
Some pro-life advocates who are counting on Trump to reverse the strongly pro-abortion policies of the outgoing Obama administration were concerned that restoring the Mexico City Policy was not on his list of pro-life actions he promised to take as the nation’s Chief Executive. Those actions reportedly are to:
- Nominate pro-life Supreme Court justices;
- Sign into law a ban on late-term abortions, called the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act;
- Defund Planned Parenthood “as long as they continue to perform abortions” and reallocate their funding to other health clinics;
- Make the Hyde Amendment — which prevent taxpayer-Medicaid dollars from funding abortions except in the case of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is at risk — permanent law.