President Donald Trump, in one of his first official acts, issued an executive order yesterday restoring the Mexico City Policy, a memorandum first issued by President Ronald Reagan in 1984 at the United Nations population conference in Mexico City. The policy halts federal funds from going to foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that perform abortions or "actively promote" abortion as a method of family planning in other countries. The order ensures U.S. aid will continue to go to health care, humanitarian relief, and even family planning in the millions of dollars. It just will not subsidize abortion overseas.
Prior to President Reagan's actions, American policy on paper was to never promote abortion overseas, however in practice U.S. tax dollars directly supported organizations which advocated and performed abortion. It remained in effect until 1993 when President Clinton rescinded the Mexico City policy on January 22, 1993 for the entirety of his tenure in office. On January 22, 2001, President Bush issued an executive order restoring the Mexico City policy. President Bush had also determined UNFPA was complicit in China's forced abortion and sterilization program, and withdrew its U.S. funding. President Obama ignored such facts and rescinded the policies.
President Trump did well in acting swiftly to restore the Mexico City Policy.
This is a vital step in the journey to make America great again, recognizing and affirming the universal ideal that all human beings have inherent worth and dignity, regardless of their age or nationality.
I thank President Trump for issuing an executive order in keeping with his campaign promise that he will protect taxpayers from having to pay for abortions.
According to a post-election survey, nearly 60 percent of Trump voters were impacted by the Republican Party's strong pro-life, pro-religious liberty platform. This executive order aligns with the GOP platform which states that the Mexico City Policy should be restored. Funding foreign groups that promote or participate in abortion violates the principle that there should be a “wall of separation” between taxpayer money and abortion.
Family Research Council and the pro-life movement looks forward to continuing to work with the Trump administration in bringing about a culture of life in which every child is welcomed into this world and protected under our laws, both here and abroad.
Tony Perkins is president of the Family Research Council.