February 08, 2018
Anyone wondering what Donald Trump would do to fill the pro-life promises of his campaign didn't have to wait long to find out! In his first weekday on the job, the new White House started turning the page on eight deadly years of the Obama administration. After two terms of shipping American dollars to overseas groups like International Planned Parenthood, this president wasted no time pulling the plug, flipping the script on the pro-life Mexico City policy that Obama suspended.
In a policy dating back to every Republican administration since Ronald Reagan's, Donald Trump continued the tradition of blocking even a single U.S. cent from going to foreign groups that perform or promote abortion in other countries. But the administration wasn't done. To the cheers of pro-lifers, this White House took a giant leap forward from even Presidents Bush and Reagan. For the first time ever, the administration didn't just bring $600 million in taxpayer funding under the authority of the pro-life rule, but $8.8 billion from the Departments of State, Health and Human Services, and Defense. That's almost 15 times more money flowing through the abortion ban than President Bush's policy!
Liberals were apoplectic. The U.S. is ending its global health outreach, they cried! People are going to die without America's help. As usual, it was fake news. President Trump didn't zero out international aid -- he expanded it. For once, hurting, sick people don't have to compete with the abortion lobby to get real care. Dollars that would have been spent propping up the culture of death are finally going to projects that improve lives – not take them. But don't take our word for it. Take the State Department's.
A year into the Left's sky-is-falling predictions, this new approach to foreign aid is working. And well. In a report just released by Secretary Rex Tillerson's agency, the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance is having the desired effect. Not only is it helping to tear down the financial stronghold that groups like Planned Parenthood have on other nations, but it's sending a message to the world that America recognizes that all human beings have inherent worth and dignity. If President Trump wanted to discourage international abortion, liberals say he has. A former member of USAID's population fund, lamented the "huge, huge chilling effect" the White House's policy is having on abortion activism. "I would say, yeah, unfortunately, it does work."
If there's one thing both sides can support, it's that the Trump administration has managed all of this without any disruption to our aid -- one of the Left's biggest (and unfounded) complaints. Liberals were sure that organizations all around the world would end their partnership with the U.S. government if they had to abide by the new pro-life rules. Hardly. Out of the 733 groups that provide foreign aid, only four refused to comply – including (not so surprisingly) abortion giants Planned Parenthood and Marie Stopes International. So far, they're the only ones more interested in destroying humans than helping the ones in need.
Meanwhile, if anyone's opinion matters, isn't it the people we're trying to serve? After two terms of hitting other countries over the head with abortion propaganda, a lot of nations are relieved by the change. From the Philippians to Latin America, our neighbors have cheered the move. Carmel Nisha Pius Franco, director of a pro-life organization in India, pointed out:
"Indian women need life, dignity, education and empowerment, not abortion. We have been exploited through decades-long population control propaganda which has resulted in at least 300 million abortions (16 million abortions being performed in India in just one year) and dangerous sub-replacement fertility rate. Americans do not want their hands in the blood of innocent children killed in India. Yes, we need to deal with development issues, but not by killing our children. Thanks to President Trump for setting things right ..."
The message from this White House is simple: promoting health means protecting life. And years from now, who knows how many children will be alive to prove us right?
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.