The following are excerpts of House Floor remarks by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), co-chair of the Congressional Pro-life Caucus, on the Mexico City Policy, Helms and UNFPA amendments he offered today during consideration of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2020 (H.R. 4373):
By executive order, President Biden reversed the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance policy, which was a reiteration and expansion of President Ronald Reagan’s Mexico City policy.
Announced by Ronald Reagan at the UN conference on population growth in Mexico City in 1984—hence its name—the policy was designed to ensure that U.S. taxpayer money was not funneled to foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that perform or promote abortion except in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother.
My amendment inserts new text that reinstates the Mexico City Policy and strikes language in the bill that prevents any future president from promulgating any iteration of the Mexico City Policy.
The Mexico City Policy established pro-life safeguards—benign, humane conditions on global health assistance. For years, foreign NGOs have been empowered by taxpayer funds—grant money—to weaken, undermine, or reverse pro-life laws in other nations, especially in Africa and to destroy the precious lives of unborn children.
The Mexico City Policy mitigates U.S. taxpayer complicity in global abortion and underscores our deep commitment to protecting the weakest and most vulnerable.
According to the most recent Marist Poll, 77% of Americans are opposed to using taxpayers’ monies to pay for abortion in other countries. Only 19% support paying for abortions in other countries.
The Marist Poll found that 55% of Democrats, 85% of Independents and 95% of Republicans were against using taxpayer funds to pay for abortion in other countries.
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U.S. foreign assistance and the foreign entities that we fund with billions of dollars of grant money should consistently affirm, care for, and tangibly assist women and all children—all children, including unborn babies—regardless of age or condition of dependency.
Madam Speaker, since 1973, the Helms Amendment has prohibited using U.S. taxpayer funds to directly pay for abortions in other countries.
Helms is the Hyde Amendment for the rest of the world. The bill before us today, however, completely reverses Helms.
My second amendment—cosponsored by 46 Members—simply reinstates it.
Taxpayers should not be forced to pay for child dismemberment— including severing arms and legs and decapitation with sharp knives—or deadly poisons or drugs like RU–486 which starves the baby to death.
Children alive but not yet born who are killed by abortion at 20 weeks or later experience excruciating suffering and physical pain. And until rendered unconscious or dead by these hideous procedures, the baby feels the pain of every cut.
Where is the justice and empathy and compassion for unborn babies?
Years ago, then Senator Biden wrote to constituents and said his opposition to abortion funding would “protect both the woman and her unborn child…” Both the woman and her unborn child with an emphasis on both.
Rather than funding the death of a baby, I believe we must increase access to maternal and prenatal care and ensure access to safe blood and better nutrition. We must also expand essential obstetrical services, including skilled birth attendants, while improving transportation to emergency care facilities to significantly reduce maternal mortality and morbidity, including obstetric fistula.
Senator Biden also said: “I have consistently—on no fewer than 50 occasions—voted against federal funding of abortions…those of us who are opposed to abortion should not be compelled to pay for them.”
The underlying pro-abortion language in this bill is far outside the mainstream of American values.
Finally, I ask for your support for my amendment that makes the UNFPA ineligible to receive U.S. funds appropriated in this bill.
In China, any mother caught without explicit government authorization to give birth over the past 40 years has been coerced to abort her baby and/or face ruinous fines and jail.
All unwed mothers by decree must abort.
Since 1979—with some revision in 2015—brothers and sisters have been illegal in China as part of the barbaric one child per couple policy. Today, because Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party has finally recognized that China’s economy can’t sustain China’s exploding older population and missing women, has reportedly issued rules to legally allow women to have more children.
We’ll see if that applies to all women—including unwed mothers and the disabled. It certainly doesn’t apply to the Uyghurs.
But over the four decades the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has vigorously supported, funded, defended, promoted, even celebrated the Chinese Communist Party’s coercive population control policy.
Several years ago I met the Chinese Communist Party leader in charge of the entire program, Madam Peng Peiyun in Beijing. She told me there was absolutely no coercion in their population control program and repeatedly cited the fact that the UNFPA was there and could verify that assertion.
Which they did for decades.
Under Presidents Reagan, Bush (1), Bush and Trump—and even one year under Clinton—the UNFPA was barred from receiving U.S. funds because of their shameful support and co-management of China’s forced abortion and forced sterilization policy.
Hundreds of millions of women have been exploited and irreparably scarred by this UNFPA-backed program.
Will there ever be any serious accountability?
Now, as we all know, the cruel machinery of coercive population control has been deployed as part of the genocide against Uyghur Muslims.
Each day—over the course of forty years—Chinese family planning cadres imposed huge “compensation” fees on any woman who lacked permission to give birth.
Ruinous fines—from 1-10 times the combined annual salaries of both parents, plus jail, torture, property confiscation, loss of employment, loss of educational opportunities, housing and health care—are all weapons routinely employed by the family planning cadres to ensure compliance with the one child per couple policy.
In denying U.S. funds to the UNFPA, Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte wrote: “China’s birth limitation program retains harshly coercive elements in law and practice, including coercive abortion and involuntary sterilization…it is illegal in almost all provinces for a single woman to bear a child…”
The State Department noted that Chinese law is “the foundation of its coercive policies and practices” and that the UNFPA comports with and adheres to “Chinese law.”
Mr. Speaker, the UNFPA-supported child limitation policy has led to the worst gender disparity in any nation in history.
Where are the missing girls of China?
Dead— murdered because they were female, systematically destroyed over 40 years by sex selection abortion.
Today, there are tens of millions of missing girls in China—gendercide, the evil twin of genocide.
In 2009 I convened and chaired a Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission hearing on China’s one child policy.
The principal witness was—Wujian—a Chinese student attending a major U.S. university.
Wujian—an unwed mother in China—was forced to have an abortion.
Through tears, she told us how at the clinic, “I saw hundreds of pregnant moms, all of them just like pigs in the slaughterhouse.”
Outside, “some moms were crying, some were mourning, some moms were screaming and one mom was rolling on the floor in unbearable pain.”
“Then it was my turn,” she said, “they cut my baby into pieces…with scissors. And sucked it out with a special machine—by force.”
Wujian continued, “The nurse showed me part of a bloody foot with her tweezers…I saw five small bloody toes.”
“Immediately, the body was thrown into the trashcan.”
“The one child policy has killed millions of innocent lives in China,” she concluded.
The UNFPA ought to be at the Hague, giving an account of its support, promotion and complicity over the past 40 years in massive crimes against women.
Not fundraising on Capitol Hill.