Biden ends a pro-life era
The president’s executive actions spell the end of Trump-era pro-life victories
President Joe Biden signed a presidential memorandum on Thursday that chips away at major pro-life victories of the Trump administration. Under the broad banner of “protecting women’s health at home and abroad,” the executive action revokes the Mexico City policy so federal funds can go to international abortion providers, among other things.
Former President Ronald Reagan first implemented the Mexico City policy in 1985 to prevent U.S. government money from funding foreign family planning organizations that provide abortions. Every Republican administration since has reupped the policy and every Democratic administration has revoked it.
Former President Donald Trump in 2017 expanded the policy to block funds from all global health organizations that offer abortions, not just family planning groups. Trump’s action was a major victory for the global pro-life movement, and Biden has reversed it with the stroke of a pen. But the sweeping nature of the Trump-era policy means resuming abortion programs at these international organizations could take some time.
Biden also pulled the United States from the Geneva Consensus, an international declaration that formally opposes the United Nations’ stance that abortion is a human right. Under former Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, the United States led 35 countries in signing the document in October 2020.
The new secretary of Health and Human Services—Biden’s nominee is strongly pro-abortion California Attorney General Xavier Becerra—will review a Trump administration change to the Title X family planning program that prohibits participating facilities from performing or referring for abortions. Despite claiming that abortion is only 3 percent of its services, abortion giant Planned Parenthood forfeited $60 million a year from the program rather than give up the procedure in 2019. Biden’s memorandum will restore that lost funding. The money won’t directly fund the procedure, but it will free up the budget so Planned Parenthood can expand its abortion services.
“Though President Biden has promised to bring our nation together, his immediate attack on the most vulnerable among us, the unborn, will only cause further division,” said Mary Szoch, director of the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council. “Abortion takes the life of an unborn child—executive action forcing American taxpayers to pay for this atrocity certainly isn’t unifying.”
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