Bush Administration Expands Mexico City Policy

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 1, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Bush Administration Expands Pro-Life Mexico City Policy

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
September 1, 2003

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — In a move to prevent any confusion about his stand against funding international pro-abortion groups, President Bush, on Friday, issued a memorandum to the State Department expanding his Mexico City Policy.

The pro-life Mexico City Policy, first instituted during the Reagan administration, prohibits the federal government from giving taxpayer funds to international organizations that perform or promote abortions in other countries.

In 2001, Bush issued a memo ensuring that the Mexico City Policy prohibited the USAID agency from funding the pro-abortion groups.

However, a subsequent memo was needed to expand the policy and provide clarity to it.

"Because family planning grants are awarded by the Department of State outside of USAID as well as through USAID, you are hereby directed to extend the requirements of the March 28, 2001, memorandum to all assistance for voluntary population planning furnished to foreign nongovernmental organizations," Bush directed the agency.

The new memo makes it clear that the pro-life policy applies to federal funding of all population programs funded by the State Department — even if they are not funded through USAID.

Another pro-life law, called Kemp-Kasten, prohibits the federal government from funding involuntary population programs.

A spokesman for NARAL Pro-Choice America blasted the Bush administration over the decision.

"It’s clearly yet another sign of the triumph of far-right ideology in the Bush administration," said spokesman David Seldin.

Representatives from pro-life groups told LifeNews.com they strongly supported Bush’s expanded policy.

The move follows another Bush administration decision to revoke HIV/AIDS funding from British abortion business Marie Stopes International.

The pro-abortion group is participating in a join venture with other organizations to provide medical care to AIDS victims in Africa and Asia. However, the Bush administration contends the abortion business is a partner with the UNFPA in supporting China’s population control program, which includes forced abortions and sterilizations.

The Bush administration offered to continue funding the program through the other groups, but they chose to remain loyal to Marie Stopes and refused the money.