President Obama today signed an executive order to repeal the Mexico City Policy that during President Bush’s tenure protected Americans from being required to fund groups that promote and pay for abortions around the globe.
The plan was originated by President Reagan in 1984. It prohibited non-governmental organizations that receive federal funds from providing or promoting abortions in other nations.
President Clinton rescinded the rule Jan. 22, 1993, calling it “excessively broad” and “unwarranted.”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, consequently, were denied access to funding from U.S. taxpayers.
The Congressional Quarterly reported on Obama’s first day in office, just before the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, about the new president’s repeal plans.
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,” the letter 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, legislative director of National Right to Life, told Life News that repeal of the Mexico City Policy would 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.”
Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council told the Washington Post,
“Yesterday, President Obama issued executive orders banning the torture of terrorists but today signed an order that exports the torture of unborn children around the world.”
Perkins noted that Obama vowed at the debate with Republican candidate Sen. John McCain last fall at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church to find “common ground” on the issue of abortion and that he, as president, would work to “reduce the number of abortions.”
“His action today flies in the face of that vow and probably sets a record as the most quickly broken campaign promise ever, leaving the question, how many more broken promises to families lie ahead?” Perkins told the Post.
Officials say removing the policy actually doesn’t result in the U.S. spending tax funds on abortions, but it allows money to be handed over to groups that counsel and refer to abortions.
Obama also said during his campaign, “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.
An organization, FightFOCA.com, already has been assembled to oppose the plan and already has collected 500,000 signatures in opposition.
According to Pastor Rick Scorborough of Vision America, more than 500 state, federal and local laws would be destroyed by the action.
“There are not enough words to convey the seriousness of this piece of legislation. Now is not the time to bury our heads in the sand and hope this will go away. It won’t. If we don’t do something about it, the basic fundamental right to be born will be taken from millions of unborn children, ironically, in the name of ‘freedom,'” Scarborough wrote.
Among the laws that would be overturned are the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, the Hyde Amendment restricting taxpayer funding of abortions inside the United States, informed consent laws, waiting period laws, parental consent and notification laws, requirements that abortion businesses follow health regulations, a ban on non-physicians doing abortions and bans on abortions of babies who can survive outside the womb.
“In 2007, Barack Obama stood before the Planned Parenthood Action Fund and promised that the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) would be the first piece of legislation he would sign and in doing so it would ‘transform this nation,'” Scarborough wrote.
Obama delayed his announcement until the day after the 26th anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade U.S. Supreme Court opinion that struck down state bans on abortion. The event was marked with marches and demonstrations in Washington.
Activists had invited Obama to address the March for Life rally, but instead he issued a statement expressing his support for abortion. The activists then challenged Obama actually to witness and abortion, so he would know what goes on.
March for Life officials said, “As a candidate, President-Elect Obama made two important campaign promises: first, that he will be president of all of the people, and also that he will make change. Then, as president of all the people, which includes preborn humans, he must educate himself about the evils over-flowing our American culture from Roe v. Wade.
“They are the evils of denying worth to a whole class of innocent preborn humans. They are the evils of denying protection of the unalienable right to life of preborn humans in existence at fertilization. They are the same evils which America suffered by having to put down slavery and the holocaust.”
The campaign said Obama must learn that on his inauguration day alone an estimated 3,000 pregnant mothers were “brutalized physically and emotionally by surgical abortion, and 3,000 innocent preborn human boys and girls … killed intentionally.”
The challenge states to be president “of all of the people”:
- “He must watch the evil deed of a surgical abortion to know what it looks like to pull off the head, arms and legs of a preborn human – there is a commercial killing site within a few blocks of the White House.
- “He must learn about abortion evil by talking with suffering post-abortion mothers and fathers.
- “He must talk with an adult who survived the violations of abortion.
- “He must learn about the love and work of selfless pro-lifers who provide free services for pregnant mothers.
- “He must join with us volunteer March for Life defenders who stand up for change which overturns Roe vs. Wade because we cannot tolerate that our beloved country continues to participate in the intentional genocide of an estimated 50,000,000 innocent preborn human boys and girls since Roe v. Wade.”
March for Life officials pulled no punches in their challenge.
The organization said in its statement, “President-Elect Obama must learn that no one owns the right to life of another human in existence at fertilization because we Americans are governed by self-evident truths ‘that all Men are created equal … endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life. …'”