In 2001 and 2003, President Bush signed orders preventing the distribution of grant money to international family planning groups who provided abortion services. Later today, President Obama will reverse that order.
The funds were originally cut off during the Reagan administration, reinstated by Clinton, cut off again by George W. Bush and will soon flow again authorized by an Obama Executive Order. (Sorry, I do not have access to a draft of the order yet.)
Here’s some brief background information. (Link)
President Bush on Friday issued an executive order that prevents the State Department from giving family planning grants to international groups that provide abortion-related counseling, although he exempted groups in Africa and the Caribbean that could receive funding through the global AIDS initiative, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The new policy is an expansion of an executive order Bush issued in 2001 that restricts the U.S. Agency for International Development from providing aid to international organizations that use their own funds to provide abortions or abortion counseling or to lobby foreign governments on abortion policy (Chen, Los Angeles Times, 8/30).
The so-called “Mexico City” policy — which was originally implemented by President Reagan at a population conference in Mexico City in 1984, removed by President Clinton and reinstated by President Bush on the first day of his presidency — “bars U.S. money from international groups that support abortion, even with their own money, through direct services, counseling or lobbying activities” (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 4/9).
Bush said that he is expanding the 2001 order “because family planning grants are awarded by the Department of State outside of USAID, as well as through USAID.” According to the Times, Bush believes that U.S. taxpayer money should not be used to provide financial assistance to international groups that provide abortion-related services (Los Angeles Times, 8/30).
Bush was right. United States taxpayers should not have any of their contributions go to these programs – or any other program – that provides abortion services outside of the United States or within our borders.
Morrissey over at Hot Air notes that Obama is signing this order on a Friday afternoon, when the news cycle is slow, and with little fanfare from the liberal left. No Rose Garden ceremony, no representatives from NOW or Planned Parenthood in attendence. I’m not convinced of Ed’s opinion to keep this order on the down-low, but maybe Obama is feeling a little shame?
People can agree to disagree concerning the right to life and the right to choose, but by providing federal funding for these programs, you are taking money from people who morally object to abortion and using that money to fund abortions.
The Founding Fathers were very smart people. The Constitution is clear concerning what the federal government could do and what rights were left to the states. This was a great solution for the Founders, too bad The Constitution is routinely ignored these days.