Human Rights

Women’s rights activists celebrate defunding of International Planned Parenthood

As Live Action News’ Becky Yeh reported, on Monday, President Donald Trump signed an executive order reinstating the Mexico City Policy, which prohibits federal funding from going towards foreign nonprofit organizations that either commit or actively promote abortions.

Under the policy, International Planned Parenthood and Marie Stopes International will be defunded.

Following Trump’s signing of the executive order, Reggie Littlejohn, President of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, celebrated the move:

 We are elated that U.S. taxpayer dollars will stop going to International Planned Parenthood, which has been working hand in hand with the Chinese Communist Party in their brutal, coercive population control program in China, which includes forced abortion and sterilization of women…We are thrilled that [President Trump] has taken this swift and decisive action. This is a huge victory for all those who have worked so hard to end abuses by IPPF and to relieve the suffering of women and babies in China.

International Planned Parenthood has indeed worked alongside the China Family Planning Association, and in fact still lists CFPA as a member association on its website. Despite China’s “population control policy” resulting in blatant and frequent abuses against women’s rights including forced abortions, in 2009, International Planned Parenthood director-general Gill Greer called the policy “very conducive to China’s development in various aspects such as economy, education and health care services.”

In a December open letter to then-President-elect Donald Trump, Littlejohn laid out a case for why Trump should take action to defund International Planned Parenthood upon taking office:

As you may know, China’s One Child (now Two Child) Policy has been responsible for hundreds of millions of forced abortions and sterilizations and untold human suffering.  While posturing as a champion of choice, International Planned Parenthood has in fact been working hand in hand with the population control program in China, almost since its inception.  Forced abortion is not a choice. 

Rather than address the ethical concerns surrounding International Planned Parenthood, pro-abortion groups were quick to paint Trump’s executive order as a threat to women’s rights – while completely ignoring the women’s rights abuses going on in China and other nations. Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, argued, “Donald Trump has turned his anti-women rhetoric into policy, and made it more difficult for women and families all over the world to access vital reproductive care. He really is living up to the lowest of expectations.”

Regardless of how pro-abortion groups and big business abortion backers try to portray the Mexico City Policy, the fact is that the majority of Americans do not want their tax dollars going to fund abortions overseas. According to a recent Marist poll, 83 percent of respondents either opposed or strongly opposed the use of tax dollars to support abortion in other countries.  One can reasonably assume that this percentage may increase if the question were asked in context of funding abortions in an oppressive country such as China, due to forced abortions and other abuses.

Rep. Chris Smith, a supporter of the Mexico City Policy, argues that in addition to protecting the rights of women and children, the policy will show respect for other nations. “Without this protection in place, foreign [nongovernmental organizations] receiving U.S. government funds promote and perform abortion throughout the world with the imprimatur of the United States,” said Smith, adding that pro-abortion groups “also set up additional projects overseas seeking to topple pro-life laws, imposing a new colonialism that fails to respect life-affirming cultures.”

There is much work to be done, and the pro-life community can hope that in a way, this is only the beginning. But for today, the reinstatement of the Mexico City Policy is cause for celebration.

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