On Monday, the U.S. House Appropriations Committee passed a $56.4 million bill that takes aim at the Mexico City policy, seeking to increase taxpayer funding for NGOs that commit abortions around the globe. The $56.4 million FY 2020 State & Foreign Operations (SFOPs) bill represents a 3% increase over the previous year’s budget. The full House Appropriations Committee is expected to take up the bill as soon as next week, and the House may then take up the bill in June.
The current policy targeted by the bill is called the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance policy, formerly known as the “Mexico City” policy, and which allows NGOs to remain eligible for federal funding only if they do not engage in policies that commit or promote abortions. The policy, instituted by President Reagan in 1984, has been re-instituted during every Republican presidency.
Some Congress members immediately raised concern about the bill. “Two appropriations bills have now targeted pro-life initiatives,” said Appropriations Committee member Kay Granger of Texas in a statement. “Unfortunately, the Democrats continue to include partisan riders aimed at weakening important measures that protect life. I do not support the State and Foreign Operations Bill as currently drafted and will work with my colleagues to improve this legislation as it moves through the appropriations process so that it reflects more reasonable funding levels and controversial language is removed.”
In a statement, Planned Parenthood signaled their approval of the move. “By repealing the global gag rule that plays politics with women’s lives, this bill will help ensure that people around the world can access life-saving services, like antiretrovirals, birth control, and even basic information about reproductive health care. It is time for Congress to end the Trump-Pence administration’s devastating global gag rule once and for all.” Planned Parenthood, of course, is active in promoting its lucrative abortion “services” worldwide.
In January, House Democrats targeted the Mexico City policy in the first spending bill of the new Congress, a bill which ultimately failed to pass. The bill would have ended a provision that required foreign NGOs to guarantee that they will not “perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning,” and would have given an extra $5 million to the United Nations Population Fund, a contributor to China’s restrictive child policies, and which has been accused of coercive abortion and sterilization.
Prior to the Trump administration’s role in reinstating the policy, the federal government funded the United Nations Population Fund and other NGOs under the Obama administration. That presidential administration called the objections raised by pro-lifers regarding the funding “stale and fruitless.”
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