On Monday, January 23, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order prohibiting U.S. foreign aid to be sent to international, non-governmental organizations that provide or promote abortions overseas, as a method of family planning.
The policy which Trump has put into place is known as the Mexico City Policy, and it is the first pro-life policy to be enacted in approximately 8 years!
But this is not the first time that this rule has been enacted.
The Mexico City Policy was first established by President Ronald Reagan in 1984. According to the Weekly Standard, it was rescinded by President Clinton, reenacted by President George W. Bush, and once again rescinded by President Obama.
When President Obama did away with the policy in his second week in office, a Gallup poll showed how unpopular rescinding the rule really was among Americans. Gallup reported,
“Obama’s decision to reverse the prohibition on funding for overseas family-planning providers may be the least popular thing he has done so far. […] Fifty-eight percent of Americans disapprove of Obama’s decision to lift this ban, while only 35% approve of it.”
And as CBS News reports, the policy is not limited to Mexico City. The ban blocks funding to all international charities and other such organizations that provide or promote abortions as family planning, by way of information, referrals, counseling, etc.
That being said, there are two important points to be made concerning the rule:
- The ban includes exceptions for abortion in the case of rape, incest, and life of the mother.
- This executive order does not “defund” International Planned Parenthood affiliates. On the contrary, they can choose to abide by the rule, or forgo U.S. funding. When President George W. Bush reenacted the policy, International Planned Parenthood chose not to accept U.S. funds so they could still provide abortion services. Essentially, Planned Parenthood is once again left with the ultimatum: Do not provide or promote abortions…or do not receive federal funds.
Today, President Trump enacted his first pro-life policy – a day after the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. It’s definitely a step forward for the pro-life movement.
Could this be a sign of greater things to come?
President Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, also held his first press briefing the same day. During the briefing, he elaborated on the President’s commitment to support and protect life. Watch the video here: