Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced the expansion of the so-called Mexico City Policy, that prevents U.S. tax dollars from going to non-governmental organizations that refer patients to, or provide abortion services. The new policy, the nation’s top diplomat said is about “protecting the least amongst us.” He went on to describe the rule’s expansion as “decent” and “right.” “American taxpayer dollars will not be used to underwrite abortions,” Pompeo explained to members of the press, noting the Department of State is also expanding the so-called Siljander Amendment.
Pompeo said the Trump administration will be “fully enforcing” the Siljander Amendment which specifies that no U.S. funds can be used to “lobby for abortion.” The secretary made the decision following reports the Organization of American States (OAS) has been lobbying for the expansion of abortion services. He added the American people should “rest assured” because the Trump administration “will do all we can to safeguard U.S. taxpayer dollars and protect and respect the sanctity of life for people all around the globe.” What is the history of the Mexico City Policy?
The controversial policy was first established by President Ronald Reagan in 1984. He unveiled the rule during a conference in Mexico City, hence the policy’s name. The rule has gone in and out of effect based on whether a Republican or a Democrat is in the Oval Office. Former President Barack Obama rescinded the policy in 2009. Before that, former President George W. Bush reinstated the policy after Bill Clinton left the White House. Bush said at the time, “It is my conviction that taxpayer funds should not be used to pay for abortions or to actively promote abortion, either here or abroad. It is, therefore, my belief that the Mexico City Policy should be restored,” he added.
Trump himself, in the late 1990s, described himself as “very pro-choice,” but in 2015, he explained that his views had “evolved.” “I hate the concept of abortion,” he said. “What happened is friends of mine years ago were going to have a child, and it was going to be aborted, and it wasn’t. And that child today is a total superstar, a great, great child. And I saw that. And I saw other instances. And I am very proud to say that I am pro-life.” The president has called on Congress to “work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life,” urging them to “reaffirm a fundamental truth: all children, born and unborn, are made in the holy image of God.”
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