Trump Reverses Obama Policy on Funding Abortion Overseas

Correction Appended

(Photo: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)U.S. President Donald Trump signs an executive order on U.S. withdrawal from the Trans Pacific Partnership while flanked by Vice President Mike Pence (L) and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus (R) in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington January 23, 2017.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order to ban government funds for international groups that provide or promote abortion, which reverses Barack Obama administration policy. 

LifeNews reported the executive order reinstates the Mexico City Policy, which eliminates funding to certain groups, including some Planned Parenthood affiliates, around the world or requires them to agree that they "would neither perform nor actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations."

The policy was first announced in 1984 by former President Ronald Reagan. Every Republican president since Reagan continued the policy. The Bill Clinton and Barack Obama administrations rescinded it in their first week in power.

Several pro-life groups celebrated the executive order announcement and backed Trump to continue his push-back against abortion coverage.

"We applaud President Trump for putting an end to taxpayer funding of groups that promote the killing of unborn children in developing nations," said Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee.

"Over his eight years in office, President Obama advanced a pro-abortion agenda with executive orders and regulations that were destructive to the lives of many unborn children," added Jennifer Popik, J.D., National Right to Life legislative director. "Today's executive action by President Trump will get the U.S. out of the business of international abortion advocacy under the guise of family planning."

Reggie Littlejohn, President of Women's Rights Without Frontiers, who campaigns against forced abortion, sterilization, and other abuses against women in China, also said that her organization was "elated" at the news.

"We published an open letter to then President-Elect Trump, asking him to investigate and ultimately, to defund International Planned Parenthood for complicity with these women's rights atrocities. We are thrilled that he has taken this swift and decisive action," Littlejohn said in a press release.

"This is a huge victory for all those who have worked so hard to end abuses by IPPF and to relieve the suffering of women and babies in China."

Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, described Trump's decision as a big step "in the battle to make the womb a safe place again."

"President Trump has now turned off the spigot of taxpayer funding for abortions outside of the United States," Staver said.

"We cannot reverse the deaths of more than 58 million children but we can reverse the tragic flow of money that allows Planned Parenthood to end the lives of innocent children," he added, referring to the 1973 Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in America.

The Planned Parenthood Action Fund responded to the news by stating that Trump has
put "politics over women's lives," calling the Mexico City Policy a "global gag rule" which will hurt vulnerable women.

It also claimed that the policy will result in clinic closers around the world as well as more, not less, unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortions.

"Politicians should not stand between a woman and her doctor, neither in the U.S. nor anywhere else in the world," said Planned Parenthood Global Executive Director Latanya Mapp Frett.

"And U.S. foreign assistance should not be held hostage to politicians' personal beliefs, as it is under the global gag rule — especially when those beliefs interfere with U.S. values such as promoting human rights, international development, democracy and free speech," Frett added.

Correction: January 25, 2017

An article on January 24, 2017 incorrectly stated that President Bill Clinton didn't rescind the Mexico City policy. Clinton rescinded the policy on January 22, 1993, his first week in office. 

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