Donald Trump bans US funding of foreign NGOs that support abortion
President Donald Trump on Monday, signed an executive order banning foreign aid or federal funding for any international nongovernmental organizations that provide or "promote" abortions. The policy which is nicknamed 'Mexico City' policy, established by former Republican President, Ronald Reagan in 1984, blocks federal funding for international family planning charities that provide abortions or "promote" the procedure by providing patients with information about it, including by offering referrals to abortion providers.
This policy has been very political, with Democrats allowing it and Republicans blocking it.
George Bush Jr. banned it, President Obama in 2009 allowed the funding of abortion for international NGOS.
The ban comes 2 days after millions of women around the world marched in support of women rights.That demonstration will be countered on Friday by the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters at his first briefing Monday afternoon
“I think the president, it’s no secret, has made it very clear that he’s a pro-life president,” “And I think the reinstatement of this policy is not just something that echoes that value, but respects tax payer funding as well, and ensures that we’re standing up not just for life of the unborn, but for also taxpayer funds that are being spent overseas to perform an action that is contrary to the values of this president.”
The move signals the beginning of a long fight over abortion that will likely continue throughout Trump’s presidency. Trump took traditionally Republican stances on abortion during his campaign, vowing to sign any legislation defunding organizations that provide the procedure and promising to appoint “pro-life” justices to the Supreme Court.
Vice President Pence is also a staunch anti-abortion advocate who passed several laws restricting the procedure while governor of Indiana. During his time in Congress, Pence introduced several bills that would have banned federal funding for organizations that provide abortions.
Republicans and anti-abortion groups cheered and praised the ban, saying it was as an advancement of "pro-life" policies and signaled that more would come throughout the Trump administration.
"Life is a precious and sacred gift, and we must do all we can to protect it," said Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas), chairman of the House's health subcommittee. "I applaud President Trump for taking this important action and look forward to continuing to work together in advancing pro-life policies and protecting taxpayer dollars.”
However, Democrats denounced the order as an effort to “silence the discussion of women’s reproductive choices.” Adding that women should have the right to have the government fund abortions.
The United States spends about $600 million a year on international assistance for family planning and reproductive health programs.
Trump's ban will impact foreign organizations such as the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPFF), which provides family planning services in more than 180 countries.