Senate Defeats Pro-Life Amendment to Restore Mexico City Policy on Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 28, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Senate Defeats Pro-Life Amendment to Restore Mexico City Policy on Abortion

by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 28
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — On Wednesday, members of the U.S. Senate defeated an amendment sponsored by pro-life members to restore the Mexico City Policy that President Barack Obama rescinded last week. The policy prevents taxpayers from funding groups like Planned Parenthood that promote or perform abortions overseas.

Sen. Mel Martinez, a Republican from Florida, drafted an amendment offered to the SCHIP bill to ask members of the Senate to override Obama’s executive order.

The Senate defeated the Martinez amendment on a 60-37 vote with only one Democrat, Sen Bill Nelson of Nebraska, joining most of the chamber’s Republicans to support it.

A handful of pro-abortion Republicans joined Senate Democrats in opposing the effort to stop taxpayer money from going overseas to pay for abortions or lobbying foreign countries to reverse their pro-life laws.

The Family Research Council had asked pro-life senators to support the Martinez amendment, saying, "Americans should never be forced to pay for abortions–at home or abroad."

Meanwhile, pro-life Rep. Chris Smith, a New Jersey Republican, and several other pro-life members of the House have introduced legislation to restore the Mexico City Policy.

Congressman Smith is joined by Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Bart Stupak (D-MI), and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) in introducing H.R. 708.

“One of President Barrack Obama’s first acts in office was to issue an executive order to allow U.S. taxpayer money to flow to groups that perform abortions or actively work to overturn pro-life laws all over the world,” Smith told in a statement. "It’s a sad statement about his list of priorities. With Americans facing an economic crisis the likes of which we’ve not seen in generations, he chooses to enact a policy that will redirect funds to foreign organizations promoting and conducting abortions."

“The Mexico City Policy represents common ground,” Smith said about the abortion debate.

“It has allowed the US to substantially fund international family planning without padding the budgets of radical groups intent on spreading the scourge of abortion. Under Mexico City policy, funding for family planning was not reduced one penny," he explained.

"The President’s decision will shift U.S. funding from true family planning programs to programs that provide and promote abortion with little or no regard for the sovereignty of democratic nations that oppose abortion as a method of family planning," Smith said.

“If President Obama truly seeks to reduce the number of abortions, he must resist funding groups who are driven to export and expand abortion as a method of family planning,” Smith added. “Abortion is never safe for the child and women deserve better than the tragic, irreversible consequences of abortion."

ACTION: 1) Contact your members of the Senate by going to and responding to how they voted on using your money to fund pro-abortion groups promoting and performing abortions overseas. See below for the Senate roll call. 2) Contact members of the House by going to and urging strong support for HR 708 to restore the Mexico City Policy.

Senate Vote on Pro-Life Martinez Amendment on Mexico City Policy
(Yea is a pro-life vote and Nay is a pro-abortion vote)

Alabama: Sessions (R-AL), Yea Shelby (R-AL), Yea Alaska: Begich (D-AK), Nay Murkowski (R-AK), Nay Arizona: Kyl (R-AZ), Yea McCain (R-AZ), Yea Arkansas: Lincoln (D-AR), Nay Pryor (D-AR), Nay California: Boxer (D-CA), Nay Feinstein (D-CA), Nay Colorado: Bennet (D-CO), Nay Udall (D-CO), Nay Connecticut: Dodd (D-CT), Nay Lieberman (ID-CT), Nay Delaware: Carper (D-DE), Nay Kaufman (D-DE), Nay Florida: Martinez (R-FL), Yea Nelson (D-FL), Nay Georgia: Chambliss (R-GA), Not Voting Isakson (R-GA), Yea Hawaii: Akaka (D-HI), Nay Inouye (D-HI), Nay Idaho: Crapo (R-ID), Yea Risch (R-ID), Yea Illinois: Burris (D-IL), Nay Durbin (D-IL), Nay Indiana: Bayh (D-IN), Nay Lugar (R-IN), Yea Iowa: Grassley (R-IA), Yea Harkin (D-IA), Nay Kansas: Brownback (R-KS), Yea Roberts (R-KS), Yea Kentucky: Bunning (R-KY), Yea McConnell (R-KY), Yea Louisiana: Landrieu (D-LA), Nay Vitter (R-LA), Yea Maine: Collins (R-ME), Nay Snowe (R-ME), Nay Maryland: Cardin (D-MD), Nay Mikulski (D-MD), Nay Massachusetts: Kennedy (D-MA), Not Voting Kerry (D-MA), Nay Michigan: Levin (D-MI), Nay Stabenow (D-MI), Nay Minnesota: Klobuchar (D-MN), Nay Mississippi: Cochran (R-MS), Yea Wicker (R-MS), Yea Missouri: Bond (R-MO), Yea McCaskill (D-MO), Nay Montana: Baucus (D-MT), Nay Tester (D-MT), Nay Nebraska: Johanns (R-NE), Yea Nelson (D-NE), Yea Nevada: Ensign (R-NV), Yea Reid (D-NV), Nay New Hampshire: Gregg (R-NH), Yea Shaheen (D-NH), Nay New Jersey: Lautenberg (D-NJ), Nay Menendez (D-NJ), Nay New Mexico: Bingaman (D-NM), Nay Udall (D-NM), Nay New York: Gillibrand (D-NY), Nay Schumer (D-NY), Nay North Carolina: Burr (R-NC), Yea Hagan (D-NC), Nay North Dakota: Conrad (D-ND), Nay Dorgan (D-ND), Nay Ohio: Brown (D-OH), Nay Voinovich (R-OH), Yea Oklahoma: Coburn (R-OK), Yea Inhofe (R-OK), Yea Oregon: Merkley (D-OR), Nay Wyden (D-OR), Nay Pennsylvania: Casey (D-PA), Nay Specter (R-PA), Nay Rhode Island: Reed (D-RI), Nay Whitehouse (D-RI), Nay South Carolina: DeMint (R-SC), Yea Graham (R-SC), Yea South Dakota: Johnson (D-SD), Nay Thune (R-SD), Yea Tennessee: Alexander (R-TN), Yea Corker (R-TN), Yea Texas: Cornyn (R-TX), Yea Hutchison (R-TX), Yea Utah: Bennett (R-UT), Yea Hatch (R-UT), Yea Vermont: Leahy (D-VT), Nay Sanders (I-VT), Nay Virginia: Warner (D-VA), Nay Webb (D-VA), Nay Washington: Cantwell (D-WA), Nay Murray (D-WA), Nay West Virginia: Byrd (D-WV), Nay Rockefeller (D-WV), Nay Wisconsin: Feingold (D-WI), Nay Kohl (D-WI), Nay Wyoming: Barrasso (R-WY), Yea Enzi (R-WY), Yea

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