Senate leadership thwarts pro-abortion lawmaker’s attempt to fund abortion overseas

United Nations

Forty-four pro-life organizations including the Susan B. Anthony List (SBA), Students for Life, March for Life Action, and others recently signed a letter urging lawmakers to oppose an amendment to a spending bill that would effectively bypass the Mexico City policy and allocate money for overseas abortions. 

The current administration has committed to and even expanded the Mexico City policy through the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance (PLGHA) policy. But some domestically-based organizations that work overseas are not subject to the policy. Pro-abortion New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen attempted to exploit that loophole and introduced an amendment to dramatically increase funding for these pro-abortion organizations.

Shaheen had targeted the PLGHA rule earlier this month when she attempted to repeal the life-saving policy. When that attempt ultimately failed, she introduced language in the State and Foreign Operations (SFOPs) 2020 bill in the Senate Appropriations Committee to increase funding for these abortion promoting organizations. The Shaheen amendment was passed with an unrecorded voice vote, according to the Daily Wire

But the pro-life protest seems to have made an impact with Senate leadership. As C-Fam reports, on November 1st Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell withdrew the controversial bill from a group of appropriation bills as a result of pro-life concerns.

The October 17th pro-life letter warned that next year’s spending bill could raise even more money for pro-abortion organizations and pointed out that it was a violation of the bipartisan budget agreement earlier, which states, “There will be no poison pills, additional new riders, […] or other changes in policy or conventions that allow for higher spending levels unless agreed to on a bipartisan basis by the four leaders with the approval of the President.”

READ: No, the Mexico City Policy is not increasing abortion rates overseas

“We are deeply concerned by the increase of funds for international family planning in the Senate SFOPs bill, which would provide even more money to these organizations,” reads the pro-life coalition’s letter. “Senator Shaheen’s amendment is clearly designed to undermine the life-saving policies of the Trump administration. While this is not her typical frontal attack on PLGHA, it is no less an attack on the policy and life-affirming recipients of taxpayer dollars.”

According to Shaheen’s congressional website, the language she added to the bill “included $665 million for international family planning and reproductive health care, including funds for the United Nations Population Fund,” which is tied to China’s oppressive population control measures. 

Marjorie Dannenfelser of the SBA List called the Shaheen initiative a “nonstarter” and said in a statement, “Under the bipartisan budget agreement Republican leaders have the opportunity to insist the Shaheen amendment is dropped. We trust that President Trump, Senate Majority Leader McConnell and House Minority Leader McCarthy will continue to stand against efforts to weaken the extraordinary progress made by the Trump administration in implementing pro-life policies internationally by rejecting the Shaheen amendment.”

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