Last week, President Joe Biden followed through on his campaign promise and rescinded the Mexico City Policy. Like clockwork, the policy appears in the news every four or eight years as it goes into and out of effect with each administration. Most people can identify the Mexico City Policy as a prolife measure but are a little bit foggy on the details.
So, what exactly is the Mexico Policy and why is it such a big deal?
To understand the Mexico City Policy, we must first understand the Helms Amendment. Adopted in 1973, the Helms Amendment prohibits the use of U.S. foreign aid dollars “to pay for the performance of abortions as a method of family planning or to motivate or coerce any person to practice abortions.” Essentially, the Helms Amendment does for foreign aid what the Hyde Amendment does for Medicaid.
President Reagan, the nation’s first post-Roe v. Wade prolife president, drew attention to a glaring hole in the Helms Amendment. While the policy prevents the direct funding of abortions overseas, it does not keep foreign aid dollars from funding the organizations that provide them. Because of this loophole organizations like the International Planned Parenthood Federation and MSI Reproductive Choices (formerly Marie Stopes International) can use foreign aid to cover overhead expenses while providing abortions internationally or lobbying prolife countries to withdraw legal protections from unborn children.
At the 1984 International Conference on Population in Mexico City, President Reagan closed this loophole by prohibiting USAID (U.S. Agency for International Development) funds from going to any organization that provides or promotes abortions as a method of family planning. This became known as the Mexico City Policy and has since been enacted and revoked along party lines with each subsequent administration.
Presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush upheld the policy. President Trump improved it by covering more and newer foreign aid funding streams. Presidents Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and now Joe Biden all rescinded the Mexico City Policy and allowed the tax dollars of American citizens to enable abortions overseas.
The main purpose of the Mexico City Policy is to protect the conscience rights of American citizens. It prevents people with resolute moral convictions from funding the industry that profits from killing babies. It also saves lives, just as other restrictions on abortion funding do.
By rescinding the Mexico City Policy, the Biden Administration has declared that they do not care about the moral freedoms of prolife people and will fund abortions with or without the consent of citizens.
America’s number one export overseas shouldn’t be death.