President Joe Biden will sign an executive order revoking the pro-life policy known as the Mexico City Policy and dismissing consistent polling that shows Americans share bipartisan unity on barring taxpayer funding of abortion both within the United States and abroad.
The White House announced Thursday that Biden will sign an executive order that rescinds the Mexico City Policy, which prohibits foreign organizations that receive U.S. financial aid from promoting or performing abortions as a method of family planning.
The White House statement read:
Across the country and around the world, people — particularly women, Black, Indigenous and other people of color, LGBTQ+ people, and those with low incomes — have been denied access to reproductive health care. President Biden is also issuing a Presidential Memorandum to protect and expand access to comprehensive reproductive health care. The memorandum reflects the policy of the Biden-Harris Administration to support women’s and girls’ sexual and reproductive health and rights in the United States, as well as globally. Like memoranda issued by President Clinton and President Obama before him, it immediately rescinds the global gag rule, also referred to as the Mexico City Policy, which bars international non-profits that provide abortion counseling or referrals from receiving U.S. funding. In recognition of the additional work necessary to protect access to reproductive health care, President Biden’s memorandum also directs the Department of Health and Human Services to take immediate action to consider whether to rescind regulations under its Title X family planning program.
The announcement comes the day after two national polls revealed most Americans back restrictions on abortion and support a ban on taxpayer funding of abortion overseas and within the country.
Though Biden has made “unity” a central theme of his administration, he is already implementing the most radical abortion agenda the nation has ever seen.
Rescinding the Mexico City Policy on the eve of the March for Life is a deeply disturbing move, especially when the president says he wants national unity. It goes against the wishes of an overwhelming majority of Americans. 1/2
— Jeanne F. Mancini (@jeannemfl) January 28, 2021
A Knights of Columbus/Marist Poll found 77 percent of Americans either “oppose” or “strongly oppose” the use of taxpayer funds for abortions overseas, an uptick of two percentage points from the 75 percent who responded similarly in the last two annual polls. Of those who oppose taxpayer funding of abortions abroad, 55 percent are Democrats, 95 percent are Republicans, and 85 percent are independents.
Only 19 percent of Americans say they either “support” or “strongly support” taxpayer funding of abortions outside the U.S.
Additionally, even among those who identify as “pro-choice,” 64 percent say they oppose the use of their tax dollars to support abortion overseas.
Within the U.S., 58 percent of those surveyed say they oppose taxpayer funding of abortion, including 31 percent of Democrats, 83 percent of Republicans, and 65 percent of independents.
The Marist Poll also found more than three-fourths of Americans (76 percent) back significant restrictions on abortion, including a majority who identify as “pro-choice.”
Additionally, a survey from Students for Life of America’s (SFLA) Institute for Pro-Life Advancement found millennials and Generation Z individuals (ages 18-34) are more pro-life than reported in mainstream and pop culture media.
According to that poll, 48 percent of Americans in this age group oppose taxpayer-funded abortion within the U.S., while 53 percent oppose funding abortions abroad.
Since its survey two years ago, SFLA also found support for reversing Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that created a right to abortion, has risen six percentage points, from 51 percent in 2019 to 57 percent in 2021.
According to SFLA, in 2021, “57 percent to 30 percent oppose Roe when they learn it allows for abortion through all 9 months.”
“If your ‘healthcare policy’ kills people on purpose, you’re doing it wrong,” SLFA President Kristan Hawkins said in a statement reacting to the White House’s announcement.
“The Mexico City policy requires that taxpayer healthcare investment goes to life-saving care and not abortion, which is common ground and commonsense,” she said. “In fact, more than half of the generation most targeted for abortion, Millennials and Gen Z, don’t want to pay for abortions worldwide.”
Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) authored a letter urging Biden to reverse his new executive order.
“U.S. foreign policy—and the foreign entities we fund with billions of dollars in grant money—should consistently affirm, care for, and tangibly assist women and children—including unborn baby girls and boys,” Smith said in a statement.
He added the “original policy was announced by President Reagan at a United Nations Conference on Population Control in Mexico City in 1984—hence its name—and it established pro-child safeguards—benign, humane conditions—on about $9 billion in annual global health assistance.”
Smith said the policy was “designed to ensure that U.S. taxpayer money is not funneled to foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that perform or promote abortion as a method of family planning.”
Other pro-life leaders are reacting to Biden’s dismissal of the apparent preferences of many Americans, regardless of their political affiliation and their identification as “pro-life” or “pro-choice.”
“Funneling U.S. tax dollars to abortion groups overseas is an abhorrent practice that flies in the face of the ‘unity’ Joe Biden and Kamala Harris promised to inspire,” Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a statement, adding that Biden’s action is serving to “force taxpayers to bankroll abortion businesses overseas, opening up a slush fund for groups like Marie Stopes International and the International Planned Parenthood Federation.”
THIS is news we want to see! ὄ In a full page ad for the @washingtonpost today, #ReproBlueprint outlines the top priorities for the Biden-Harris admin to protect and build back our reproductive rights. Learn more: https://t.co/gOgTkNiAhn pic.twitter.com/SCAtupwAYR
— Planned Parenthood Action (@PPact) January 27, 2021
I’m making a video that features many voices of ordinary Africans begging the American government to not fund abortions in Africa. It will be launched in the coming hours. pic.twitter.com/tmiNgD0rUJ
— Obianuju Ekeocha (@obianuju) January 28, 2021
“These abortion industry giants shamefully push their agenda on deeply pro-life nations and cultures,” Dannenfelser continued. “Americans across the political spectrum oppose the use of taxpayer funding to promote abortion and abortion businesses. Despite this, the new administration is moving forward with a payout to the abortion industry that backed their political campaign.”
The use of American tax dollars for international abortions by rescinding the Mexico City Policy Is deeply troubling. The move will directly lead to an increase in abortions worldwide, and will directly implicate conscientious Americans who oppose the practice.
— CatholicVote.org (@CatholicVote) January 28, 2021
Father Dave Pivonka, TOR, President of Franciscan University of Steubenville, said that by “rescinding the Mexico City Policy and pledging to codify Roe v. Wade, President Biden has promoted and facilitated the harmful practice of abortion, which violates the sanctity of human life.”