The Trump administration sent a powerful message to the world yesterday: The principle established in America’s founding document, that all men are created with an unalienable Right to Life, would be a determining factor as the U.S. helps with health programs around the world.
Following through on his January memorandum regarding the Mexico City Policy, the administration has declared with its new Promoting Life in Global Health Assistance that abortion will not be an export of the United States in any way.
The Mexico City Policy was issued by President Ronald Reagan in 1984. It barred the use of U.S. funds from being given to foreign organizations that perform or promote abortion as a method of family planning overseas. That policy was continued by Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, and rescinded by President Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
When President Trump reinstated the pro-life policy on January 23, he took the policy further. He instructed the Secretary of State “to implement a plan to extend the requirements of the reinstated Memorandum to global health assistance furnished by all (emphasis added) departments or agencies.”
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The Mexico City Policy originally covered funds distributed for family planning and “reproductive health” purposes. The new policy now covers all global health assistance, pulling in international health programs such as HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health, malaria, and global health security. Because of the additional programs covered by the policy, the amount of money covered by the policy has gone from $500-$600 million to almost $9 billion annually.
People in developing countries want help—they want food for their children, they want shelter over their heads, they want to live in a safe environment, they want learning and training so they can take care of, and provide for, their families. When agencies and organizations enter a community, supported by U.S. funds, the people will know that we are not there to kill their children.
The United States is waving a banner worldwide—our health assistance will honor and protect life.
LifeNews Note: Carol Tobias is the president of the National Right to Life Committee.