Democrats in Congress are trying to undermine President Donald Trump’s pro-life policies through a new amendment to a foreign aid bill.
Sponsored by U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, the amendment to the State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs appropriations bill would reinstate some of Trump’s funding cuts to abortion advocacy groups and create a “non-discrimination” rule that basically would prohibit pro-life organizations from receiving U.S. Agency for International Aid, the Catholic News Agency reports.
Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, and other pro-life leaders wrote a letter to Trump this week, urging him to reject the pro-abortion amendment.
“We have the most pro-life President in history, and he has promised to veto any bill that would weaken the pro-life advances he has made, and Republican leaders in Congress have made it clear that they have the votes to sustain such a veto” Pavone said.
In one of his first acts as president, Trump reinstated the Mexico City policy, which prohibits groups that receive foreign family planning money from promoting or providing abortions. The policy defunded Planned Parenthood’s international arm of about $100 million and the British-based abortion chain Marie Stopes International of an additional $73 million in U.S. tax dollars.
Shaheen’s amendment could change that.
“First, and most troubling, it increases a highly controversial earmark for international family planning by $57.55 million …” pro-life leaders wrote to Trump. “This funding serves to enrich global abortion providers: more money for this earmark exploits an aspect of [Trump’s pro-life policy] that allows this account to serve as a taxpayer-funded supplemental for U.S.-based NGOs that actively promote abortion overseas.”
They said the amendment also has a so-called “non-discrimination” policy that prohibits U.S. Agency for International Aid from working with contractors that do not provide abortions. Pro-life leaders said the requirement basically would “blacklist” pro-life and pro-family organizations and hinder their foreign aid efforts.
“We are confident that President Trump will not allow the Democrat party’s abortion extremism to weaken the progress he has made,” Pavone said. “And we will continue to point out that tremendous progress to the voters, so that we can have another four years of it!”
The deadline for the appropriations bill is Dec. 20, according to CNA.
Pro-life leaders who signed the letter also include Archbishop Joseph Naumann, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishop’s Pro-Life Activities; Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List; Catherine Glenn Foster, president of Americans United for Life; and Dr. Donna Harrison, executive director of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists.