Planned Parenthood on Defunding of Foreign Abortion Groups: ‘Access to Abortion is an American Value’

Lauretta Brown | January 24, 2017 | 3:39pm EST
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Planned Parenthood President

Cecile Richards.  (AP) 

( – In response to the Trump administration reinstating the Mexico City Policy, which blocks taxpayer funds to non-governmental organizations that perform or promote abortion overseas, Planned Parenthood Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens said “access to safe, legal abortion is an American value.”

On Monday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said President Trump had “made it very clear that he's a pro-life president,” and “the reinstatement of this policy is not just something that echoes that value but respects taxpayer funding as well.”

“This may be news for Sean Spicer, but access to safe, legal abortion is an American value,” Laguens said in a statement. “The world’s most vulnerable women will suffer as a direct result of this policy, which threatens to undermine years of efforts to improve women’s health worldwide.”

A Marist poll conducted in December found that 83 percent of Americans “oppose using tax dollars to fund abortions” both abroad (83%) and in the U.S. (61%).

Laguens also claimed that “women will die because of this action,” in an interview with Democracy Now.

“Principled organizations around the world will be forced to make a choice as to whether they accept those family planning dollars that they use to provide all kinds of family planning services, if they also are going to stay true to their mission of serving women with the full range of reproductive health services, or at least informing them,” Laguens said.

“In many cases, this is just about if a woman is going to ask about an abortion,” Laguens admitted, “that they can’t refer them to someone who could provide a safe, legal abortion, but have to let them be out in the world trying to figure this out on their own. And it really is insulting to women, their intelligence and their freedom.”

Ilyse Hogue, president of the abortion advocacy group NARAL, also slammed the reinstatement of the Mexico City policy, saying, “It's telling that one of Trump's first executive actions combines two of his favorite things: silencing anyone who disagrees with him and repressing women.”

President Donald Trump signing executive orders in the Oval Office.  (AP) 

Hogue called the change something “that silences health workers at the expense of their patients.”

Pro-life advocates were happy with the policy change, however, arguing that it will separate U.S. funds from involvement in policies like forced abortions in China.

SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a statement on Monday, “For nearly a decade under President Obama, Americans have funded UNFPA, which has a long history of involvement in China’s brutal birth limitation policy – enforcement of which routinely includes the atrocity of forced abortions.

“Thanks to President Trump, the Secretary of State is directed to ensure Americans are no longer complicit in violating the dignity of women and children overseas. No longer will abortion be a top U.S. export.”

“Thank you for making sure our hard-earned tax dollars aren’t used to fund or promote abortions abroad,” Concerned Women for America President and CEO Penny Nance said. “America has so much more to offer the world than death.”


Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), co-chairman of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, said that “by redirecting taxpayer dollars away from the international abortion industry, President Trump has re-instituted life-affirming protections for unborn children and their mothers.”

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ committee on pro-life activities, said the move was “a welcome step toward restoring and enforcing important federal policies that respect the most fundamental human right – the right to life – as well as the long-standing, bipartisan consensus against forcing Americans to participate in the violent act of abortion.”

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