What is the Mexico City Policy? And Why Should Taxpayers Care?

By Julia Wall, Intern

Do you want to personally pay for the murder of unborn children internationally?

100 million taxpayer dollars are on the line each year. They could either support foreign abortion clinics or fund life-affirming healthcare practices.

Currently, pro-life policy under the Trump adminstration protects both innocent life and your taxdollars. The Mexico City Policy, also known as the “Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance Policy” mandates that recipients of the United States Family Planning Assistance cannot perform or promote abortions in any foreign countries using American aid. Ever since its first passage under President Ronald Reagan in 1984, this policy has been consistently implemented during Republican administrations and repealed during Democratic administrations. 

The original policy stated: 

“The United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child [1959] calls for legal protection for children before birth as well as after birth. In keeping with this obligation, the United States does not consider abortion an acceptable element of family planning programs and will no longer contribute to those of which it is a part. Accordingly…the United States will no longer contribute to separate nongovernmental organizations which perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations.”

Pro-choice advocates call this policy the “global gag rule” and argue that it is preventing American taxpayers from supporting populations that are in need of healthcare assistance.

The PLGHA policy does not restrict funding for legitimate healthcare needs, however. The United States still provides assistance to overseas populations; the policy simply clarifies that American taxpayers should not provide support to facilities that intentionally end life rather than save it. 

The vast majority of recipients agree to follow the policy. In fact, in 2019,  1,332 of the 1,340 recipients that receive these funds agreed to follow the policy. Only eight organizations declined funds because they were not allowed to perform or promote abortion under the guidelines.

International Planned Parenthood left over $72 million on the table rather than abide by the policy. The organization demonstrated that it is abortion, not healthcare, that they prioritize. If International Planned Parenthood chose to follow the PLGHA regulations, they could still receive funding for research and treatment of HIV or other issues they claim to care about. 

As one of his first acts in office, President Trump issued the PLGHA policy. He has stood behind the policy and enforced its regulations consistently. Former Vice President Joe Biden, on the other hand, opposed the Mexico City policy while in office and has promised to repeal the Trump administration’s PLGHA policy if elected.

The Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance Policy is either implemented or repealed by your vote. Your ballot dictates how you want your money to be spent. Our tax dollars should support improving health and lives, not taking away innocent life. 

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