Expansion of abortion funding worldwide is the top priority for House Democrats in a spending bill that seeks to end the partial government shutdown.
Foreign non-governmental organizations are currently required to certify that they will not “perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning” and are prohibited from receiving U.S. funds to providing abortions, under the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance policy.
President Donald Trump instituted the provision via executive order shortly after his inauguration in Jan. 2017. The policy, which pro-abortion advocates refer to as the “global gag rule,” also bans these organizations from advocating for the passage of pro-abortion laws in other countries.
The bill, slated to be voted on Thursday, would repeal the president’s provision that bans NGOs, such as International Planned Parenthood, from providing or promoting abortions method of family planning overseas.
The spending bill, that Democrats introduced Wednesday, will also reportedly increase funding for the United Nations Populations Fund, from $5 million to $37.5 million. UNPFA notoriously supports China’s “one-child policy,” a four-decades-long birth control policy that has led to forced abortions. The United States withdrew $32.5 million in funding for UNFPA in 2017.
President of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, Marjorie Dannenfelser, warned in a statement that Democrats are “trying to foist a radical pro-abortion agenda on the nation,” with the spending bill.
“A strong majority of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion,” she said, adding that rescinding Trump’s policy on nongovernmental organizations would make “taxpayers complicit in the exportation of abortion and destruction of countless unborn children around the world. This is unconscionable and we oppose the bill in the strongest terms.”
The bills is unlikely to pass in the GOP-controlled Senate. The federal government has faced a partial government shutdown for 12 days, as Democratic leaders refuse to meet Trump’s demands for $5 billion to fund a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
The Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance policy, known in the past as the Mexico City Policy, was first enacted by President Ronald Reagan in 1984 at the United Nations populations conference held in Mexico City. Every Republican president has since reenacted the policy via executive order, but Democrat presidents have all rescinded the provision.