WASHINGTON, D.C., July 7, 2011 ( – The U.S. Conference of Catholic bishops and its charity arm have asked House lawmakers drawing up a foreign aid budget to restore barriers to abortion and abortion advocacy overseas. They have also asked the lawmakers to cut funding to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for its complicity in China’s coercive population control program.

Bishop Howard J. Hubbard, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on International Justice and Peace, and Catholic Relief Services president Ken Hackett, wrote a letter dated July 5 to the Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs as it prepares to mark up the Foreign Operations Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2012.

In the course of urging continued support for the worldwide poor, Hubbard and Hackett advocated for the return of several fiscal provisions protecting the unborn that were eliminated by the Obama administration

“As you consider appropriations language, we strongly support restoring the Mexico City Policy against funding groups that perform or promote abortion, and denying funding to the U.N. Population Fund which supports a program of coerced abortion and involuntary sterilization in China,” they wrote.

“It is also important to preserve the Helms Amendment, prohibiting U.S. funding for abortion, and the Kemp-Kasten provision, prohibiting support of organizations involved in programs of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization.”

The leaders concluded that their organizations “stand ready to work with leaders of both parties for a budget that reduces future deficits, protects poor and vulnerable people at home and abroad, advances the common good, and promotes human life and dignity.”

President Obama eliminated the Reagan-era Mexico City Policy within days of entering the White House in January 2009. The administration later removed a ban on funding for the UNFPA without commenting on several investigations that found the group complicit in China’s coercive one-child policy.