Rescinding the Mexico City Policy is Bad for America, Bad for the World
Inauguration Day and the weeks that follow should be a time for the new president to unite the country and build an agenda that crosses party lines. Unfortunately, it seems Joe Biden plans to take the opposite approach, having promised to immediately rescind the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance Policy, better known as the Mexico City policy.
As millions of Americans are hurting because of the coronavirus, Biden appears hell-bent on canceling an extraordinarily effective and life-giving policy. President Ronald Reagan originally enacted the Mexico City policy to ensure unwilling American taxpayers didn’t fund overseas abortions. Every Republican president since Reagan has promoted the policy, and President Donald Trump expanded it, applying it not only to the U.S. Agency for International Development and the State Department but to other agencies distributing foreign health assistance, like the Department of Defense. This significant change means that billions of taxpayer dollars are protected from paying to promote and subsidize abortion internationally every year.
Unfortunately, Biden can eliminate this pro-life policy with a stroke of a pen. During the Democratic primary, his campaign promised, “Biden will use executive action on his first day in office to withdraw the Mexico City global gag rule.” Vice President Kamala Harris wants to go even further and pass legislation permanently repealing the Mexico City policy. This level of commitment to funding abortion everywhere is, frankly, ghoulish and should concern Americans regardless of political affiliation.
Even abortion supporters don’t think the government should be promoting and funding the practice abroad with the tax dollars of pro-life Americans. A bipartisan majority of Americans reject Biden and Harris’s radical approach to the exportation of abortion, as 75 percent oppose funding overseas abortions with taxpayer funds, including 61 percent who identify as pro-choice.
Despite the need to focus our dwindling resources on families here in our pandemic-battered economy, Biden wants to endanger unborn babies in countries that should self-determine their values.
It is a cruel act of political expedience to dangle abortion over the head of a needy world. Abortion isn’t health care. At-risk communities across the globe stand to benefit from the safety net and companionship that comes from having and raising children. Heaven forbid the United States endorse and fund a program that destroys lives and weakens communities, which is exactly what reversing the Mexico City policy will do.
Biden justifies repealing this popular and life-giving policy by claiming it hurts global public health, even though all the evidence shows the opposite.
A State Department review of the Trump policy shows that only eight of 1,340 primary grant awardees declined health care funds because of the abortion prohibition—proof the policy doesn’t curb critical health assistance in remote parts of the world. “In most cases in which a recipient or sub-recipient declined to agree to the terms of [the Mexico City policy], USAID and/or the prime partner successfully transitioned activities to ensure the continuity of global health assistance,” reads the report.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement the report is evidence the policy doesn’t inhibit the United States’ ability to provide much-needed health care and testing to those in third-world countries. “This review reaffirms that the United States can continue to meet its critical global health goals while protecting life abroad through its global health assistance programs,” he said. “The U.S. government is committed to protecting life, the unborn, and the dignity of the human person.”
A misguided Biden administration would foist a harmful package deal on other countries at the expense, and against the wishes, of American taxpayers. But the return and expansion of the Mexico City policy under the Trump administration was proof positive that it’s possible to defend the unborn and their mothers while also advancing health and well-being around the world.