State Department Expands Pro-life Policy (Liberty Counsel)

May 15, 2017

WASHINGTON – Under President Trump’s administration, the State Department announced today plans to expand the Mexico City policy that bans U.S. funding for abortions overseas. The expanded policy, known as “Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance,” prohibits U.S. taxpayer money from funding foreign organizations that perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning.

The pro-life policy will apply global health assistance funding for international health programs, such as those for HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health, malaria, global health security, and family planning and reproductive health, rather than abortion.The new policy states: “The United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child (1959) calls for legal protection for children before birth as well as after birth. In keeping with this obligation, the United States does not consider abortion an acceptable element of family planning programs and will no longer contribute to those of which it is a part. Accordingly, when dealing with nations that support abortion with funds not provided by the United States Government, the United States will contribute to such nations through segregated accounts that cannot be used for abortion.”

The Mexico City Policy was originally announced by President Reagan in 1984 and required nongovernmental organizations to agree that they “would neither perform nor actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations” before receiving any federal funding.  In 2009, President Barack Obama overturned the policy that provided a portion of over $400 million in federal funds to the abortion organizations like the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and Marie Stopes International for their foreign efforts. The IPPF reports that its affiliates ended the lives of nearly one million unborn children in 2015 alone and claims to have provided 16.8 million abortion-related services over the past five years.

“Today we celebrate a significant step to make the womb a safe place again,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “President Trump has now turned off the spigot of taxpayer funding for abortions outside of the United States. We cannot reverse the deaths of millions of innocent children, but we can reverse the tragic flow of money that funds human genocide,” said Staver.

Liberty Counsel is a nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.