President Bush Threatens Veto Over International Abortion Funding

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 27, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

President Bush Threatens Veto Over International Abortion Funding Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 27, 2004

Washington, DC ( — President Bush is threatening to veto a foreign policy appropriations bill if it contains language authorizing taxpayer-funding of groups that perform or promote abortions in other countries.

The president is also concerned that language has been added to the bill that would prevent him from moving money away from the UNFPA, a U.N. agency known to support China’s coercive population control program.

In a letter last week to members of the Senate, the Bush administration says the president does not support the FY 2005 Foreign Operations bill "because it includes a section that would overturn the Administration’s family planning policy (commonly known as the ‘Mexico City’ policy)."

"The President would veto the bill if it were presented to him with such a provision," the letter says.

On his first working day in office, President Bush restored the Mexico City policy, first adopted under the Reagan administration after a population conference held in the Mexican capital.

As a result, taxpayer funds may not go to international groups that perform or promote abortions. President Bush later expanded the policy to cover not only family planning expenditures, but all State Department programs.

Pro-abortion lawmakers in the Senate have tried before to overturn the Mexico City policy, but pro-life lawmakers have been successful in restoring it in the final version of bills that go to Bush for his signature.

Meanwhile, Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) added a provision to the bill last week that would prevent the president from reallocating money from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

President Bush has repeatedly cut off UNFPA funding because of its support of and involvement in China’s policy of forced abortions and sterilizations.

China has long been blamed for its anti-women population control programs and a recent investigation by the Bush administration showed the problems continuing. The Bush administration instead sent the UNFPA money to help women victimized by sex trafficking.

In its letter to senators, the Bush administration said the president "strongly opposes" the Bingaman measure "which would redirect UNFPA funds now intended for the President’s initiative to combat the trafficking of women and children."