Senate Votes to Fund Foreign Abortion Providers

Ed. (Jacobse). The Democratic leadership is at is again. | Amanda Carpenter | September 7, 2007

The Senate voted to open federal coffers to foreign abortion providers, undermining President Bush’s policy that U.S. taxpayer money should not fund abortion Thursday.

Immediately after the Senate passed the bill, President Bush issued a Statement of Administrative Policy that reminded lawmakers of his May 3 blanket warning that he would veto any bill that weakens current federal policy or laws on abortion.

Sen. Barbara Boxer’s (D.-Calif.) amendment to a foreign aid spending bill to repeal what is known as the “Mexico City Policy” passed 53-41 Thursday evening. The final bill passed 81-12 later that night.

The “Mexico City Policy” forbids nongovernmental organizations from performing or promoting abortion for family planning purposes as a condition to receive U.S. federal money. The policy was originally enacted by President Ronald Reagan during the 1984 United Nations International Conference in Mexico City. It permits non-governmental organizations to provide abortion in cases of rape, incest or to preserve the life of the mother, but does not approve of abortion as method of contraception. President Bill Clinton suspended the policy during his term and President Bush reinstated it in 2001.

Boxer’s amendment attracted twelve cosponsors, including two Republicans senators–Olympia Snowe (Maine) and Susan Collins (Maine). Three Democratic senators campaigning for their party’s nomination for president also cosponsored Boxer’s amendment: Hillary Clinton (N.Y.), Chris Dodd (Conn.) and Barack Obama (Ill.).

“There is no doubt the bill will be vetoed if Boxer’s language is not dropped,” said Douglas Johnson, legislative director of National Right to Life. “More than a third of the Senate has already promised to sustain a veto on any pro-life issue,” Johnson said in a phone interview.

On February 1, thirty-six Republican senators signed a letter to President Bush that asked him to “veto any legislation that weakens [his] pro-life policy.” Those signers likely represent the bloc who would sustain a presidential veto on a foreign spending bill that includes language to revoke the Mexico City policy.

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4 thoughts on “Senate Votes to Fund Foreign Abortion Providers”

  1. It’s funny (not in a ha ha sort of way) how the left in Congress wails and gnashes their teeth about how bad the US looks because of Iraq. But they do not believe US policies encouraging and pressuring countries to abort their babies has the same effect.

  2. It’s noxious cultural arrogance. Note too that Sen. Boxer is leading the charge, aided and abetted by Clinton, Dodd, and Obama. Boxer is virtually in thrall to abortion. Every chance to promote it, she takes — even promoting it abroad.

  3. The groups that were previously prohibeted from receiving federal funds were not exclusively engaged solely in promoting abortion, but also engaged in activities designed to decrease the need for abortion, such as dispensing contraceptives. While there is some merit to the argument both for and against the Boxer Amendment the issue is not as simplistic or clear-cut as that TownHall, would have you believe.

    The National Review carried this interesting passage which contains both the pro- and anti- posittions.

    He’s Not His Father’s Pro-life Democrat
    Casey votes to fund abortion groups.

    Is Sen. Bob Casey (D., Pa.) pro-life? Did he win the votes of pro-life Pennsylvanians last year under false pretenses?

    ..Casey’s vote in favor of funding abortion providers has been duly updated on the Senate website. Casey’s view is indisputably different — opposite in fact — from that of his father. Two-term Gov. Robert Casey of Pennsylvania had been revered in the pro-life movement. He was denied a chance to speak at the 1992 Democratic National Convention because he wanted to give a pro-life speech.

    Not so with the younger Casey. His spokesman, Larry Smar, denied that Sen. Casey has changed the pro-life position on which he ran last year and defeated Sen. Rick Santorum (R., Pa.). “He does not support public funding of abortion,” Smar wrote in response to National Review Online’s inquiries. “The amendment he voted for would not allow public funding of abortion, which is illegal” under another provision.

    But this answer is disingenuous. The Boxer amendment does not put money directly into grants for providing abortions, but it funds groups that perform and refer them. Since money is fungible — that is, it can be used for anything — there is really no difference. That is why this amendment was so controversial, and why other pro-life senators — including Sen. Ben Nelson (D., Neb.) — voted against it, and have voted against it in all of its many incarnations over the years.

    The legislation was not intended to fund abortions, but other family planning activities. However the funds can indirectly be used for to help fund abortions. The question becomes: What’s worse? No family planning assistance whatsover and women having unwanted pregnancies for lack of contraception, or family planning assistance that is provided with abortion offered asanother birth control option?
    Neither option is very appealing.

  4. Note 3. Dean writes:

    The legislation was not intended to fund abortions, but other family planning activities. However the funds can indirectly be used for to help fund abortions.

    Wake up Dean. The legislation is intended to fund abortions. Why not just draft legislation excluding abortions if it were not?

    What is it about your party leadership and abortion? Why are they so relentless about promoting it?

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