Planned Parenthood Lobbies Against Pro-Life Mexico City Policy

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 27, 2011   |   11:22AM   |   Washington, DC

The Planned Parenthood abortion business is not happy that a U.S. House committee has approved legislation that would put the Mexico City Policy back in place. The policy, which President Barack Obama ditched during his first week in office, prevents the funding of groups that promote or perform abortions overseas.

Planned Parenthood is one of the major recipients of millions of dollars through the State Department and the USAID program and the abortion business refused to stop doing abortions or lobbying other nations to change their pro-life laws during the Bush administration so it could receive funds for non-abortion family planning services.

Now, enjoying the revenue stream from the federal government for its foreign activities that Obama turned back on, Planned Parenthood doesn’t want to see Congress turn it off again.

“Women’s rights to make their own medical decisions and plan their families are not American rights. They are human rights. And it’s high time for Congress to recognize that fact,” Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards claims in a new email to supporters urging them to ask Congress to oppose reinstating the Mexico City Policy. “The global gag rule forbids overseas family planning agencies that receive U.S. aid to even mention abortion as an option for women or advocate for legalized abortion in their own countries.”

“It’s time to end the global gag rule once and for all — click here to speak out now,” Richards continues. “The consequences of the global gag rule are nothing short of tragic. It undermines freedom of speech for health workers. It takes just one minute to take action — one minute to help save countless women from needless suffering. Contact Congress now.”

“President Obama rescinded the global gag rule in his first week in office, but unless Congress passes the Global Democracy Promotion Act, the next president can bring back the rule with the stroke of a pen. Even worse, anti-choice lawmakers are pushing legislation that would enshrine the global gag rule in American law. Women’s health shouldn’t be at the mercy of ideologues in Congress and whoever lives in the White House. Please, stand with Planned Parenthood,” she concludes.

Members of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill restoring the Mexico City Policy as Republicans turned back an effort from Democrats to strike the language on a 25-17 vote. However, abortion advocates are expected to offer an amendment on the House floor to strike the language.

The policy has been a central tenant of pro-life foreign policy during Republican administrations, but pro-abortion presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama both scrapped it during their first weeks in office. The policy, first named for a conference in Mexico City where pro-life President Ronald Reagan announced it, ensures taxpayer dollars don’t flow through international family planning programs to organizations like the International Planned Parenthood Federation, which claims to have done in hundreds of thousands of abortions worldwide.

Despite Obama and Senate Democrats holding up the pro-life policy, Republicans have made inroads into cutting the international pro-abortion agenda.

In April, pro-life Speaker John Boehner secured an budget agreement that, in part, cuts funding to the pro-abortion UNFPA (United Nations Family Planning Agency) that has worked hand-in-hand with Chinese population control officials who have enforced the one-child rule with forced abortions and other human rights abuses. Republicans trimmed funding for the agency from the $55 million President Barack Obama put in place to $40 million.

The bill also cut international population control and family planning funding to $575 million from the $648 million Congress authorized in 2010. That’s less money for the pro-abortion groups without the Mexico City Policy.

In July, the nation’s Catholic bishops called on Congress to restore the policy and make further cuts.

The letter from Bishop Howard J. Hubbard of Albany, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on International Justice and Peace, and Ken Hackett, president of Catholic Relief Services, went to the top Republican and leading Democrat on the Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs. In the letter, USCCB and CRS affirm strong support for restoring the Mexico City Policy and they support denying funding to the U.N. Population Fund.

“The USCCB, CRS, and many others in the faith community … stand ready to work with leaders of both parties for a budget that … promotes human life and dignity,” Bishop Hubbard and Hackett say in the letter.

“As you consider appropriations language, we strongly support restoring the Mexico City Policy against funding groups that perform or promote abortion, and denying funding to the U.N. Population Fund which supports a program of coerced abortion and involuntary sterilization in China,” they add. “It is also important to preserve the Helms Amendment, prohibiting U.S. funding for abortion, and the Kemp-Kasten provision, prohibiting support of organizations involved in programs of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization.”

In September 2003, President George W. Bush expanded the Mexico City Policy and issued an executive memo making 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.