March 26, 2019
Most people's idea of humanitarianism isn't killing. And yet, there's an entire group of liberals in this country who think the most neighborly thing the United States can do is show up in other countries armed with free abortions. Under Barack Obama, "global aid" wasn't about feeding families or helping the sick. It was about funding an international war on children in the womb. Now, thanks to Donald Trump, America's days of exporting abortion are over. Unfortunately, the fight to circumvent that policy is not.
When President Trump expanded the Mexico City Policy -- excluding abortion from almost $9 billion of aid -- groups like International Planned Parenthood panicked. After all, they'd spent eight years lapping up the pool of taxpayer money that Barack Obama made available. They'd gotten used to Congress paying for organizations like theirs to take the culture of death on the road. Desperate to keep their international killing machine afloat, the abortion industry got an idea. They'd sign the government certification promising not to promote overseas abortion, only to turn around and pass that money onto subcontractors or other groups who weren't bound by the same rules.
Today, Secretary Mike Pompeo had a message for those groups: nice try. Shortly after a meeting with a small group of pro-life leaders, which I attended, Secretary Pompeo held a press conference to announce that the days of cheating the president's system are over. From now on, everyone is subject to the same rules. The loophole that the abortion industry has been exploiting is officially closed. "Two years into our administration," Pompeo told reporters, "the vast majority of partners have agreed to comply with the policy, and they continue to work with us. This administration has shown that we can continue to meet our critical global health goals -- including providing health care for women while refusing to subsidize the killing of unborn babies."
As before, he explained, "We'll continue to refuse to provide assistance to foreign [non-governmental organizations] NGOs who perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning. Now, as a result of my decision today, we are also making clear: we will refuse to provide assistance to foreign NGOs that give financial support to other foreign groups in the global abortion industry. We will enforce a strict prohibition on backdoor funding schemes and end-runs around our policy." What's more, he went on, the State Department has a warning for NGOs trying to advocate for abortion behind the administration's back: it won't work. "We are fully enforcing federal law prohibiting U.S. funds -- including foreign assistance -- to lobby for or against abortion."
This was a much bigger problem under Barack Obama, who wired U.S. dollars to places like Kenya, where American officials were trying to influence the drafting of a new pro-abortion constitution. "The Obama administration basically hired surrogates to do its dirty work of abortion promotion in Kenya" Congressman Chris Smith (R-N.J.) said, "... with the result being a new Kenyan constitution that vastly expands access to abortion... courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer." And it wasn't just abortion, but an eight-year State Department bullying campaign on every radical social agenda under the sun.
Of course, Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen claims the administration is somehow wreaking havoc on global health by redirecting funds. But that's just not true. President Trump didn't cut a single dollar of foreign aid. He's simply saying that when the United States shows up on another country's doorstep, it's to help -- not destroy. "When the United States provides taxpayer-funded aid to help the poorest of the poor... it is critical that the message associated with our country is our warm recognition of the dignity, worth, and potential of each life we touch," DOS has said. "This is decent, this is right, and I'm proud to serve in an administration that protects the least amongst us," Pompeo told reporters.
Along with being decent and right, it's also overwhelmingly popular. Only 19 percent of the country agrees with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that the U.S. should be using foreign aid as a front for Planned Parenthood. The abortion industry has relentlessly pursued taxpayer dollars, exploiting any opportunity to grab taxpayer funds. Fortunately, President Trump and his team are just as relentless in ensuring that Americans aren't forced into a partnership with the abortion industry overseas.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.