Mexico City Policy: Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance or Global Gag Order?

As you may have heard by now, President Biden has issued a plethora of Executive Orders, Proclamations, and Memoranda during the first days of his administration. While many overturn, rescind, or reverse Trump administration policies, several will have a direct and immediate impact on the funding of abortion using U.S. tax dollars.

The Mexico City Policy, originally put in place by President Reagan, and alternatively rescinded and reinstated by Democrat and Republican administrations, requires foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to certify that they will not “perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning” as a condition of receiving U.S. government global family planning funding. President Trump reinstated the policy but also significantly expanded it to encompass the vast majority of U.S. bilateral global health assistance.[1] The expanded policy, referred to as Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance, forbade any organization receiving U.S. foreign aid from proposing abortion as a method of family planning. Opponents, including Planned Parenthood and its allies in pro-abortion activism, referred to Trump’s expanded policy as the Global Gag Order.

In rescinding the policy, President Biden declares foreign aid will flow to those organizations which promote and provide abortion overseas.

In his memorandum[2], Biden also withdrew the United States’ signature from the Geneva Consensus Declaration, which reaffirmed “that there is no international right to abortion, nor any international obligation on the part of States to finance or facilitate abortion, consistent with the long-standing international consensus that each nation has the sovereign right to implement programs and activities consistent with their laws and policies.”[3] Withdrawing the U.S.’s signature sends to nations which receive foreign aid the message that the U.S. knows what is best for their countries. This is cultural imperialism. It does not honor the dignity of life. It has no place in U.S. foreign policy.

In addition, Biden has promised to fund Planned Parenthood at home by instructing the Secretary of Health and Human Services to “review the Title X Rule and any other regulations governing the Title X program that impose undue restrictions on the use of Federal funds or women’s access to complete medical information …”[4] This may sound harmless, even pro-woman, but the purpose here is clear. President Trump ensured by his actions that Title X funding would not be available to organizations within the U.S, that provide, refer for, or encourage abortion as a method of family planning. That action resulted in Planned Parenthood renouncing over $60 million in Title X funding in 2020. Make no mistake, Biden’s intent in instructing HHS to remove undue restrictionshas as its aim the reinstating of that funding and the unfettered access to abortion. He has said as much in his promise to “codify Roe v Wade”[5]

Elections have consequences. This one will have victims. Children will lose their lives, women will be broken, families will be destroyed.

We must not sit back and blithely accept these consequences. We must make our voices heard. Please join me in praying for an end to abortion during the Lenten 40 Days for Life campaign. Call your legislators.

Be Loud! Be Bold! Life is at stake.


[1] https://www.kff.org/global-health-policy/fact-sheet/mexico-city-policy-explainer/

[2] https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/01/28/memorandum-on-protecting-womens-health-at-home-and-abroad/

[3] https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/pro-life-pro-abortion-leaders-respond-to-biden-revoking-mexico-city-policy

[4] Sec 2(a) of  https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/01/28/memorandum-on-protecting-womens-health-at-home-and-abroad/

[5] https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/01/22/statement-from-president-biden-and-vice-president-harris-on-the-48th-anniversary-of-roe-v-wade/

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