Trump Administration Expands Policy Ensuring No Taxpayer Funding for Overseas Abortions

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Tuesday the Donald Trump administration will expand and more fully implement its commitment to ensure American taxpayers are not funding or promoting abortions overseas.

The State Department issued an expanded layer of taxpayer protection in what has been called the Mexico City Policy – one that prevents subcontractors from using American taxpayer dollars to perform or promote abortions abroad.

To emphasize its commitment to protecting unborn lives, the Trump administration renamed the policy the Protecting Life in Global Health Policy.

Pompeo reiterated the Trump administration’s commitment to disentangle American taxpayers from the abortion industry.

“We can achieve … all the global health objectives that are so important, so imperative, the great work that many of these foreign NGOs [nongovernmental organizations] do, without running the risk that they’ll be used to perform abortions or advocate for abortions,” Pompeo said. “This is deeply consistent with the most moral behavior of governments. We’re determined to make sure that we don’t allow taxpayer dollars to get to these places.”

According to the announcement, the expanded policy ensures NGOs will have to provide certification to the State Department that they are not involved with performing or promoting abortions. Such a policy is expected to close 90 percent to 95 percent of the loopholes that allowed NGOs to get around the Mexico City Policy’s ban on taxpayer dollars spent on abortions through foreign aid funding.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins reacted to the announcement by stressing that “the abortion industry is well known for relentlessly pursuing taxpayer dollars – and will exploit any opportunity to grab U.S. taxpayer funds.”

“Thankfully, President Trump and Secretary Pompeo are just as relentless in working to ensure taxpayers aren’t forced into a partnership with the abortion industry overseas,” he added.

Students for Life of America (SFLA) praised the enforcement of the Protecting Life in Global Health Policy.

“Taxpayer dollars should not be going to subsidize abortions, here or internationally,” said Kristan Hawkins, SFLA president. “The Trump administration should be commended for enforcing our policy against subsidizing abortions with taxpayer dollars.”

Soon after his inauguration in January 2017, Trump reinstated and expanded the pro-life policy to include global health dollars. The policy allows U.S. taxpayer funds to assist in health care, humanitarian relief, and family planning that does not include abortion.

“Taxpayer dollars should not fund abortion here or abroad, and respecting the inherent dignity of the unborn person goes hand in glove with our country’s foreign assistance and humanitarian work,” said Jeanne Mancini, president of March for Life. “The Secretary’s courageous leadership on the implementation of this policy will assure its proper oversight and help advance the protection and empowerment of human persons at all stages in our international global health assistance initiatives.”

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, said Trump and Pompeo have shown “strong leadership in stopping the exportation of abortion around the world on American taxpayers’ dime.”

“The American people have clearly and consistently voiced their opposition to taxpayer funding of the abortion industry, both at home and abroad,” she said, adding:

Upon taking office, President Trump acted immediately on their will by reinstating and expanding this important policy. Money is fungible and we are excited to see Secretary Pompeo taking additional steps to ensure that Americans’ hard-earned dollars are actually used for health assistance, not funneled to groups that push abortion.

A recent Marist poll found 75 percent of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion abroad, through non-governmental organizations such as International Planned Parenthood, with only 19 percent in favor of such funding. When political affiliation is a factor, 94 percent of Republicans, 80 percent of independents, and 56 percent of Democrats oppose taxpayer funding of abortion overseas.

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