Officials with the Obama administration have revealed that the new president will repeal a ban on U.S. taxpayer funding of foreign abortions on his first day in office.
The Mexico City Policy, also known as the “global gag rule,” was announced by President Reagan in 1984. It prohibits non-governmental organizations that receive federal funds from providing or promoting abortions in other nations.
President Clinton rescinded the rule Jan. 22, 1993. He issued a statement calling the ban “excessively broad” and “unwarranted.”
The anti-abortion conditions “have undermined efforts to promote safe and efficacious family planning programs in foreign nations,” Clinton said.
But when President Bush took office in January 2001, he immediately issued an executive order reinstituting the pro-life policy.
“It is my conviction that taxpayer funds should not be used to pay for abortion or actively promote abortion,” Bush said.
International Planned Parenthood Federation and other abortion groups refused to conform to the ban. They continued to provide and promote abortions and were denied government funding for doing so.
But on Obama’s first day in office, just before the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the new president will repeal it, Congressional Quarterly reports.
A Jan. 16 letter from 77 members of Congress posted by Life News urged Obama to continue the ban.
“[T]his policy is important because it establishes a bright line between family planning activities and abortion, therefore ensuring that United States family planning funds are not co-opted by groups who promote abortion as a method of family planning,” it states. “Such activities would send a wrong message overseas that the United States promotes abortion.”
Lawmakers, including Reps. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., and Joe Pitts, R-Pa.., warned, “In these difficult economic times, the American people would not want us funding groups that are trying to export abortion around the world.”
Douglas Johnson, the legislative director of National Right to Life, told Life News that repeal of the Mexico City Policy will draw funding away from other organizations that provide international aid.
“One effect of Obama’s anticipated order will be to divert many millions of dollars away from groups that do not promote abortion, and into the hands of those organizations that are most militant in promoting abortion as a population-control method,” Johnson said. “So, a president who not long ago told the American people that he wanted to reduce the number of abortions, is already effectively promoting the increased use of abortion as a means of population control.”
Obama has also said, “The first thing I’d do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act,” a sweeping bill that would abolish pro-life regulations across the nation.
Additionally, the new president is also considering lifting restrictions on federal funding of stem-cell research.