U.S. to Fund Overseas Abortions
Special Report - February 10, 2009
International family planning groups that perform abortions or provide abortion counseling in foreign nations will now have access to funds from the United States government, after President Barack Obama reversed a policy last month that prohibited federal funding for overseas abortion providers. In one of his first actions in office, President Obama issued a memorandum on January 23, ordering the U.S. Secretary of State to lift what is known as the “Mexico City Policy.” The policy prohibited the use of federal funds for overseas family planning groups that perform abortions, counsel women to have abortions and/or lobby foreign governments to legalize abortions. The policy was first instituted by President Ronald Reagan in 1985 and then lifted by President Bill Clinton in 1993. President George W. Bush reinstituted the policy in 2001.
In the White House memorandum, President Obama described the “Mexico City Policy” as “excessively broad” and “unwarranted.” His decision to reverse the ban was celebrated by pro-abortion groups around the world, including the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA). “With the stroke of a pen, President Obama has lifted the stranglehold on women’s health across the globe,” said PPFA president, Cecile Richards, in a press release. “No longer will health care providers be forced to choose between receiving family planning funding and restricting the health care services they provide to women.”
Pro-life groups denounced the decision. “An Administration that wants to reduce abortions should not divert U.S. funds to groups that perform and promote abortion,” said Deirdre McQuade, assistant director for policy and communications for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities. “Our country faces serious national challenges at this time, requiring Americans to unite for the common good of all, especially the poor and vulnerable. This is no time to divide our nation with policies that offend the pro-life values of most Americans.”
The majority of Americans in a recent Gallup poll said they do not approve of President Barack Obama’s executive order “allowing funding for overseas family planning groups that provide abortions.” According to the telephone survey of American adults, which was conducted by Gallup from January 30-February 1, only 35 percent of Americans approve the President’s decision to lift the ban, while 58 percent said they disapprove.
Copyright © 2009. North Carolina Family Policy Council. All rights reserved.