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Anti-abortion groups oppose House bill to end government shutdown

January 3, 2019

Kimberly Leonard


Source …..

Anti-abortion groups oppose the Democratic spending bill set for a House vote Thursday to end the partial government shutdown.

The spending bill would repeal a provision instituted by President Trump that requires foreign nongovernmental organizations to certify that they will not “perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning.” The provision, formally known as the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance policy, was once called the Mexico City Policy, known by critics as the “global gag rule.”

The bill also would increase funding by $5 million for the United Nations Population Fund, to $37.5 million. Anti-abortion organizations oppose the program because they say it participates in coercive abortions and involuntary sterilizations.

The legislation is the same text as a bipartisan Senate bill that passed unanimously in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The anti-abortion organization March for Life said it would score against the final package if the provisions are included in the version that receives a vote Thursday. Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List, accused Democrats of “already trying to foist a radical pro-abortion agenda on the nation.”

“A strong majority of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion,” she said, adding that repealing Trump’s policy on nongovernmental organizations would make “taxpayers complicit in the exportation of abortion and destruction of countless unborn children around the world. This is unconscionable and we oppose the bill in the strongest terms.”

Democrats plan to vote on two separate bills Thursday to fund the federal government, one of which will focus on homeland security as they refuse to meet Trump’s demands for $5 billion to fund a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

The bills face dim prospects in the GOP-controlled Senate. The federal government has faced a partial government shutdown for 12 days, and Democratic leaders announced Wednesday that they still had not been able to reach an agreement with Trump.

The spending bill that Democrats introduced Wednesday includes language specifying that foreign non-governmental organizations that perform abortions consistent with the laws in their country are not ineligible for U.S. family planning funds.

Trump, like all his Republican predecessors since former President Ronald Reagan, cut off family planning funds to organizations that promote abortions for family planning. He went further than his predecessors by extending the restrictions to types of government aid besides funding for family planing, including programs that cover HIV/AIDS and maternal health.

The other part of the spending bill that anti-abortion groups object to involves the increase to the United Nations Populations Fund, which provides contraception and works to reduce childhood deaths. The Trump administration’s State Department ended contributions to to the organization because anti-abortion groups oppose its relationship with China, where citizens are not permitted to have more than two children.

The organization has disputed that it worked to coerce women into abortions, and the Democratic spending bill includes language specifically barring China from receiving funding.


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