Democrat Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s Amendment to Bipartisan Budget Agreement ‘Undermines’ Trump’s Pro-Life Policies

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) speaks during a news conference discussing discuss a resolution to end U.S. military support for Saudi Arabia's war with Yemen on Capitol Hill on December 12, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)
Zach Gibson/Getty Images

A coalition of 44 national pro-life leaders is vehemently objecting to Democrat Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s (D-NH) amendment to a bipartisan spending bill. The bill provides $665 million for “family planning and reproductive health care” and includes funds for the U.N. Population Fund, which has backed China’s one-child, forced-abortion policy.

The pro-life leaders say Shaheen’s amendment would “undermine” President Donald Trump’s pro-life policies overseas that serve to block American taxpayer dollars from supporting abortion in other countries.

The coalition sent a letter October 17 to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), alerting the Republican leaders to their strong opposition to the Shaheen amendment to the Senate State and Foreign Operations bill.

The letter read:

The Trump administration has made extraordinary progress in implementing pro-life policies internationally, specifically through Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance (PLGHA), the modernized Mexico City Policy. We cannot emphasize enough the significance of ongoing actions taken to implement this policy consistently, removing even indirect funding for abortion overseas.

“The Shaheen amendment gives one-sided support to Obama-era discriminatory language and requires one-sided reports regarding USAID [U.S. Agency for International Development] family planning programming and pro-life policies,” the pro-life leaders asserted. “Senator Shaheen’s amendment is clearly designed to undermine the life-saving policies of the Trump administration.”

The leaders observed the Bipartisan Budget Agreement reached by congressional leaders and the president in July clearly stipulated, “[T]here will be no poison pills, additional new riders…unless agreed to on a bipartisan basis by the four leaders with the approval of the President.”

“This language violates the bipartisan budget agreement by directing funds to abortion providers and population-control initiatives, effectively propping up the abortion industry with federal funds,” said Heritage Action for America Executive Director Tim Chapman in a statement. “Senators should reject the Shaheen poison pill, and any other poison pill introduced in the future, and stay true to their word.”

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, said Shaheen’s amendment makes the spending bill “a nonstarter, and under the bipartisan budget agreement Republican leaders have the opportunity to insist the Shaheen amendment is dropped.”

“We trust that President Trump, Senate Majority Leader McConnell and House Minority Leader McCarthy will continue to stand against efforts to weaken the extraordinary progress made by the Trump administration in implementing pro-life policies internationally by rejecting the Shaheen amendment.”

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