Bill Introduced in U.S. House Aimed at Restoring Abortion-Neutral 'Mexico City Policy'

Congressman Chris Smith was joined on Wednesday by Democrat Congressman Bart Stupak and Republican Representatives Jim Sensenbrenner and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in introducing H.R. 708, aimed at restoring the abortion-neutral Mexico City Policy - Unfortunately, Senator Mel Martinez' Amendment restoring the Mexico City Policy failed by a margin of 60-37 in the Senate

Just 5 days after Barack Obama abolished President Ronald Reagan's Mexico City Policy prohibiting funding for international groups which perform abortions or promote abortions, the "Dean of pro-lifers" in the United States Congress, Congressman Chris Smith, R-NJ, was joined by Democrat Congressman Bart Stupak from Michigan, and Republican Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner from Wisconsin and Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen from Florida in introducing H.R. 708, which is aimed at restoring the abortion-neutral Reagan Mexico City Policy.  

This 25-year old guideline establishes a wall of separation between abortion and family planning by ensuring that U.S. international family planning funds directed to foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) could not be used to actively promote or perform abortion as a method of family planning.  Congressman Chris Smith, a long time champion of the Mexico City Policy defended the policy in the House during the Reagan and both Bush administrations and introduced Amendments to restore the policy throughout the Clinton administration.  

Congressman Smith said:   "One of President Barrack Obama’s first acts in office was to issue an executive order to allow U.S. taxpayer money to flow to groups that perform abortions or actively work to overturn pro-life laws all over the world.  It’s a sad statement about his list of priorities. With Americans facing an economic crisis the likes of which we’ve not seen in generations, he chooses to enact a policy that will redirect funds to foreign organizations promoting and conducting abortions.

"The Mexico City Policy represents common ground.  It has allowed the US to substantially fund international family planning without padding the budgets of radical groups intent on spreading the scourge of abortion. Under Mexico City policy, funding for family planning was not reduced one penny. The President’s decision will shift U.S. funding from true family planning programs to programs that provide and promote abortion with little or no regard for the sovereignty of democratic nations that oppose abortion as a method of family planning.”

On the other side of the U.S. Capitol Building on Wednesday, the United States Senate voted by a margin of 60-37 to defeat the amendment introduced by Senator Mel Martinez, R-FL, to restore President Reagan's Mexico City Policy.  Shamefully, only one Democrat, Senator Ben Nelson, from Nebraska, voted with all the Republican Senators (except 4:  Senators Snowe and Collins from Maine, Specter from Pennsylvania, and Murkowski from Alaska) for the Martinez Amendment.

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