Hillary Clinton Opposes State Dept Bill Over Abortion $ Cuts

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 28, 2011   |   10:29AM   |   Washington, DC

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is warning members of the U.S. House that she will personally urge pro-abortion President Barack Obama to veto a State Department funding bill over cuts to groups that perform and promote abortions.

As LifeNews has reported, House Republicans have put forward an appropriations bill 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. The abortion business is lobbying Congress to reject the bill and Clinton took its side today.

Clinton, in the letter, according to CNN, called the bill “debilitating to my efforts to carry out a considered foreign policy and diplomacy” and said she “will recommend personally” that Obama veto the bill. She addressed the letter to pro-life Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Florida Republican who is the chair of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Clinton listed a number of “onerous” provisions in the bill on unrelated political issues, but included the reinstatement and expansion of the Mexico City Policy as one of those provisions she opposes.

In an interview with CNN, State Department Deputy spokesman Mark Toner complained the bill was approved on a party-line vote, although one Democrat did join Republicans in turning back an effort from pro-abortion 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, though that amendment will also likely be defeated.

Responding to Clinton’s letter, Ros-Lehtinen’s office told CNN the pro-life lawmaker is “disappointed that the Obama administration would stand in the way” of the measure that “blocks U.S. tax dollars from being wasted on foreign organizations, programs, and governments that work to undermine U.S. interests abroad.”

The language of the legislation also bans funding for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), an agency that has promoted abortions internationally and worked hand-in-hand with population control officials in China who have relied on forced abortions and sterilizations to enforce the one-child policy.

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 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.