President Donald Trump signed an executive order restating the “Mexico City Policy” on Monday. The policy requires all foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to refrain from providing or promoting abortion services. Planned Parenthood International is the largest provider impacted by the policy that was first enacted by President Ronald Reagan in 1984. It was rescinded by President Bill Clinton, was restated by President George W. Bush, and rescinded yet again when President Barack Obama took office.
Trump signed this executive order along with executive orders pulling the United States out of the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations and implementing a hiring freeze.
Trump’s executive order reads:
I hereby revoke the Presidential Memorandum of January 23, 2009, for the Secretary of State and the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (Mexico City Policy and Assistance for Voluntary Population Planning), and reinstate the Presidential Memorandum of January 22, 2001, for the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (Restoration of the Mexico City Policy).
I direct the Secretary of State, in coordination with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, to the extent allowable by law, to implement a plan to extend the requirements of the reinstated Memorandum to global health assistance furnished by all departments or agencies.
I further direct the Secretary of State to take all necessary actions, to the extent permitted by law, to ensure that U.S. taxpayer dollars do not fund organizations or programs that support or participate in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization.
This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
The Secretary of State is authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.
Two things that are important to note. First is that modernized the policy. He directs the Secretary of State to implement a plan to extend the Mexico City Policy across all global health assistance funding. That language was not present in previous executive orders.
Secondly, the Secretary of State is also directed to ensure U.S. taxpayer dollars do not support organizations that support or participate in the management of a coercive abortion program like the United Nationals Population Fund. They have a long history of supporting the Chinese population control program, which has included forced abortions.
Pro-life leaders praised Trump’s action.
“President Trump is continuing Ronald Reagan’s legacy by taking immediate action to stop the promotion of abortion through our tax dollars overseas.” said Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “President Trump’s immediate action to promote respect for all human life, including vulnerable unborn children abroad, as well as conscience rights, sends a strong signal about his Administration’s pro-life priorities.”
“Not only has President Trump reinstated the Mexico City Policy, he’s modernized it by applying it to all foreign health assistance programs. For nearly a decade under President Obama, Americans have funded UNFPA, which has a long history of involvement in China’s brutal birth limitation policy – enforcement of which routinely includes the atrocity of forced abortions. Thanks to President Trump, the Secretary of State is directed to ensure Americans are no longer complicit in violating the dignity of women and children overseas. No longer will abortion be a top U.S. export,” Dannenfelser added.
“American taxpayer dollars have many good uses, but paying for elective abortions overseas is not and never has been one of them. The president has done the right and logical thing in reinstating a policy that never should have been rescinded. The International Planned Parenthood Federation and other groups that promote abortions outside of the U.S. shouldn’t be allowed to profit from taking lives with American money anywhere, especially in light of their documented abuse of taxpayer dollars,” Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Steven H. Aden said in a released statement.
“This is a great start to the Trump presidency and we hope this is only the beginning of defunding Planned Parenthood and the end of forcing American taxpayers to fund an industry that ends hundreds of thousands of innocent lives a year and irreparably harms women. This is a new day for all Americans, and we are excited about reversing Planned Parenthood’s hold on Washington,” Kristan Hawkins, President of Students for Life of America, said in a blog post yesterday.
A Marist/Knights of Columbus poll conducted in December showed that 83 percent of Americans oppose the use of taxpayer dollars to support abortion overseas. Also 61 percent of Americans oppose the use of taxpayer dollars to support abortion in the United States.
The poll also demonstrates that there is a clear bipartisan consensus on limiting abortion to – at most – the first trimester, with a majority of Clinton supporters (55 percent) and more than nine in 10 supporters of President Trump (91 percent) saying they support such limits.
Among Americans overall, nearly three-quarters (74 percent) want abortion restricted to, at most, the first trimester. Among those who want restrictions, 74 percent want the U.S. Supreme Court to rule in favor of those restrictions. This equates to about 55 percent of Americans who support such action by the Court.
“There is a consensus in America in favor of significant abortion restrictions, and this common ground exists across party lines, and even among significant numbers of those who are pro-choice,” said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. “This poll shows that large percentages of Americans, on both sides of the aisle, are united in their opposition to the status quo as it relates to abortion on demand. This is heartening and can help start a new national conversation on abortion.”