State Department Releases Report on the Trump Administration’s Anti-abortion Mexico City Policy

Human Life Action reports that on Wednesday evening (2/7/2018) the U.S. State Department released a 6-month report on the implementation of the Mexico City Policy which President Trump reinstated and expanded on his third day in office (January 23, 2017).

The Mexico City Policy, first announced at the United Nation’s 1984 Conference on Population in Mexico City, requires foreign-based non-governmental organizations receiving U.S. financial aid to certify that they will not perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning overseas. This policy is one of the most significant policy initiatives on abortion ever taken by the United States in the area of foreign assistance.

The policy was put into effect by executive action during the administrations of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush but was rescinded during the Bill Clinton and Barack Obama administrations. In the past, the Mexico City Policy applied only to international family planning funds (currently appropriated at “not less than $575,000,000). When President Trump reinstated the policy last year he expanded it to all global health assistance funding (currently appropriated at about $8.8 billion). And he aptly renamed the policy “Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance (PLGHA).”

The 6-month report shows that, so far, 99.5 percent of organizations receiving U.S. funding (729 out of 733) have agreed to comply with the policy.

Of the four organizations that declined to comply, efforts are underway to transition their funded activities to other providers to minimize disruption of services. If funds are redirected to other organizations, the level of funding available for that country remains the same.

Among the four organizations that declined to accept the policy are International Planned Parenthood Federation and Marie Stopes International, both major purveyors and promoters of abortion.

The report acknowledges that, as of the 6-month report deadline (September 2017), not all existing agreements had yet received new funding (the point at which organizations must agree to the terms of PLGHA), so the picture on progress and challenges is still developing. A further review of PLGHA will be conducted by December 15, 2018.

Cardinal Dolan’s statement praising the Trump administration for reinstating and expanding the policy can be read here. Our comments in support of the policy submitted to the State Department last October can be read here.

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