House Democrats made the expansion of abortion one of their first orders of business in a bill that seeks to end the partial government shutdown.
The spending bill – to be voted on Thursday – would repeal a provision that bans non-governmental organizations – such as International Planned Parenthood – from providing or promoting abortions as a method of family planning overseas.
Known in the past as the Mexico City Policy, the provision is now known as the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance Policy, and was instituted by President Donald Trump shortly after his inauguration in January 2017. Abortion rights advocates simply refer to the provision as the “global gag rule.”
As the Washington Examiner reports, the bill would also raise funding for the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF) by $5 million to $37.5 million. Human rights activists have long been critical of UNPF – an agency they have linked to the support of population control programs such as China’s coercive abortion “one-child policy.”
The pro-life Students for Life of America (SFLA) is calling on all lawmakers of both parties to reject any new funding for abortion in the budget “that would pay for abortions worldwide and to reject any new funding for abortion here at home.”
“News that abortion is the leading cause of death worldwide is a tragedy of international proportions, but asking U.S. taxpayers to pay for it is an offensive misuse of scarce resources,” said SFLA president Kristan Hawkins. “Taxpayers have had enough of the abortion industry’s vision of abortion as the United States’ number one export.”
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, said Democrats were “already trying to foist a radical pro-abortion agenda on the nation.”
“A strong majority of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion,” she continued, explaining that a repeal of Trump’s policy would make “taxpayers complicit in the exportation of abortion and destruction of countless unborn children around the world.”
“This is unconscionable and we oppose the bill in the strongest terms,” she said.
The Mexico City Policy was first issued by President Ronald Reagan in 1984 at the United Nations population conference, held in Mexico City. It has been re-instituted by every Republican president via executive order since Ronald Reagan, but rescinded by Democrat presidents.
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