House GOP Backs Bill Restoring Pro-Life Mexico City Policy on Abortion

National   Steven Ertelt   Jul 24, 2013   |   3:20PM    Washington, DC

Republicans on a House committee approved a bill today that would restore the Mexico City Policy. That is the policy enacted by President Ronald Reagan and Republicans presidents since him that prohibits taxpayer funding of the Planned Parenthood abortion business in international family planning programs.

The policy specifically prohibits funding groups that promote or perform abortions overseas. Organizations that promise not to be involved in abortion can receive funding under the policy, which Democratic presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama have overturned by executive order.

To put the policy back in place by law, the House Appropriations Committee approved the State, Foreign Operations Appropriations bill, which also contains a number of current pro-life policies and caps international family planning funding/reproductive health funding at $461 million (current appropriations provide for a minimum of $575 million.

The Mexico City Policy creates a bright line of separation between abortion and family planning by only funding foreign nongovernmental organization that do not promote or perform elective abortion.  The Mexico City Policy was in effect by Executive Order under President George W. Bush and language in section 7065(b) of the State, Foreign Operations bill would reinstate the policy Obama rescinded.

The bill also would de-fund the UNFPA, which has been found to be complicit in China’s one-child policy, which involves forced abortions, sterilizations and other human rights abuses.

Because the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has a history of working closely with the Chinese Population Control Program, President George W. Bush (as well as Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush) invoked their authority under the Kemp-Kasten amendment and cut off all funds to UNFPA. Since assuming office in 2009 President Obama has provided nearly $200 million taxpayer dollars to the UNFPA. Language in section 7065(a) of the State, Foreign Operations bill would prohibit funding for the UNFPA.

During committee consideration of the bill, Republicans defeated pro-abortion amendments brought by three lawmakers, according to a Capitol Hill source that emailed LifeNews.

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Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) offered an amendment to remove both the Mexico City Policy and the prohibition on funding for the UNFPA.  The Lowey amendment failed 24-26 with all Democrats and Republican Reps. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) and Charlie Dent (R-PA) voting for the amendment.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) offered an amendment to fund UNFPA for express purposes.  The DeLauro amendment failed 24-26 with all Democrats and Republican Reps. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) and Charlie Dent (R-PA) voting for the amendment.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) offered an amendment to fund UNFPA in particular countries.  The DeLauro amendment failed 23-26 with all Democrats and Republican Reps. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) and Charlie Dent (R-PA) voting for the amendment.