by Steven Ertelt
February 15, 2006
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — President Bush’s latest budget he’s submitted to Congress slashes federal funding for family planning — promoting contraception in other nations. The decision has abortion advocates hopping mad.
On his first day as president in 2001, Bush signed an executive order prohibiting taxpayer funds from being used to pay for or promote abortions in other nations. He later expanded what is known as the Mexico City Policy to cover all State Department funding.
During that time, President Bush froze the level of family planning funding at $425 million annually — the amount funded in the last year of the Clinton administration. That was done as federal funding of most other budget areas increased.
But with Bush’s new budget, which contains cuts in programs because of funding needs for combating terrorism and hurricane relief, family planning funds have been slashed 18 percent to $357 million.
"It’s ironic that an administration outwardly committed to reducing the incidence of abortion would take away valuable tools for preventing unwanted pregnancies," pro-abortion Rep. Nita Lowey, a New York Democrat, told the New York Times.
However, Ed Fox, an official at the United States Agency for International Development, said more emphasis has been placed on funding programs that provide greater benefit for women — such as combating AIDS and malaria.
According to the Times, Fox also pointed to a $21 million program to help women in Afghanistan combat sexual abuse.
"This is a much better budget than we’ve had in the past for women’s health," he told the Times.
Bush has been criticized on foreign abortion and family planning funding since first taking office. His decision to reinstate the Mexico City Policy, dropped by President Clinton, stripped $15 million alone from International Planned Parenthood.
Despite President Bush’s progress in stopping international funding for abortion, other nation’s are picking up the slack.
Last week, Britain announced it would send $4.5 million to Planned Parenthood to fund abortions and abortion promotion and the British agency earmarking the money said it was done specifically in response to Bush’s policies.