US bishops’ conference: ‘Trump Administration deserves our praise’ for pro-life policies
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WASHINGTON, D.C., August 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) praised the Trump administration on Thursday for implementing pro-life policies in foreign affairs, specifically the so-called Mexico City Policy.
“The Trump Administration deserves our praise for ensuring that U.S. global health assistance funding actually promotes health and human rights, and doesn’t undermine them by promoting abortion,” said Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, who also serves as chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities.
“Killing innocent and defenseless unborn children through abortion is not health care,” he continued. “Abortion violates an unborn child’s most basic human right, the right to life, and it also can wound the mother emotionally and physically.”
“Americans recognize this injustice and an overwhelming majority of them oppose giving tax dollars to organizations that are more committed to promoting abortion than providing health services,” the archbishop emphasized.
Shorty after his inauguration in January 2017, President Donald Trump had expanded the so-called Mexico City Policy, renaming it “Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance (PLGHA).”
Trump’s policy “requires foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that receive global health assistance from affected Federal Departments and Agencies to agree that they will not perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning or provide financial support to any other organization that conducts such activities.”
In its second review of the policy, released just days ago, the State Department wrote, “Notably, two of the largest and most-vocal organizations that have attempted to assert a global right to abortion on demand, International Planned Parenthood Federation and Marie Stopes International, declined to agree to PLGHA and therefore forfeited their eligibility for global health assistance funding from the U.S. Government.”
Archbishop Naumann also commented on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Human Fetal Tissue Research Ethics Advisory Board’s recommendation to withhold federal funding from 13 of 14 research proposals involving the use of fetal tissue.
“We applaud the Administration for moving NIH in a direction that shows greater consideration for medical ethics in research, and greater respect for innocent human life,” he said. “It is neither ethical nor necessary to further violate the bodies of aborted babies by commodifying them for use in medical research.”
“The victims of abortion deserve the same respect as every other human person,” Naumann pointed out. “We are grateful that the Administration is following through on its commitment to end federal funding of research using aborted fetal tissue.”
Naumann’s praise for the Trump administration comes after a lower-level USCCB official expressed her enthusiasm for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s selection of Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate.
“I was so elated. We, the community, need good news, and this was just wonderful,” Donna Toliver Grimes, the USCCB’s assistant director of African American Affairs, told Catholic News Service.
A look at former Vice President Biden’s campaign platform reveals positions faithful Catholics cannot support in good conscience, even if they appreciate Biden’s approach to economics, climate change or other issues.
At the end of July, Biden dedicated one section of his Agenda for Women to “Reproductive Health,” which is generally a reference to abortion. The former vice president under President Barack Obama said he “will work to codify Roe v. Wade, and his Justice Department will do everything in its power to stop the rash of state laws that so blatantly violate Roe v. Wade.”
Roe v. Wade is the 1973 Supreme Court ruling essentially legalizing abortion across the country under the guise of a woman’s right to privacy. Many states passed legislation trying to limit the widespread killing of unborn babies. One piece of legislation is so-called heartbeat bills, which prohibit abortions as soon as the unborn baby’s heartbeat can be detected after roughly six weeks of pregnancy.
Biden said he wanted to repeal the Hyde Amendment by reissuing “guidance specifying that states cannot refuse Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood and other providers and reverse the Trump Administration’s rule preventing these organizations from obtaining Title X funds.”
Planned Parenthood provides more than 345,000 abortions annually, according to its most recent report. Additionally, the organization handed out more than 593,000 emergency contraception kits, commonly known as the morning-after pill, which can also cause abortions in many cases.
Biden’s plan would, accordingly, enable women to abort their babies using taxpayer money.
In fact, Biden had supported the Hyde Amendment for many years before reversing his position early during his campaign for president in 2019.
Biden had caused some controversy in June 2019 by saying he still supported the annual budget language that forbids taxpayer dollars from funding abortions except for cases of rape or incest or to save a mother’s life.
After a video showed him answering “yes” to an activist asking if he would “commit to abolishing” Hyde, the Biden campaign claimed he had misheard the question and still supported the amendment — while reserving the right to change his mind, depending on the progress of “draconian attempts to limit access to abortion.”
Pro-abortion groups like Planned Parenthood pounced on his remarks, leading him to announce just a day later that he was changing his position. “If I believe health care is a right, as I do, I can no longer support an amendment that makes that right dependent on someone's ZIP code,” Biden said at the time.
The Democratic presidential candidate, in his Agenda for Women, also vowed to rescind the Mexico City Policy.
First introduced under Republican President Ronald Reagan, it was rescinded by Democratic Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, while Republican Presidents George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, and Donald Trump kept it in place or reinstated it.