The United States of America has abortion on demand. This, in essence, means that we have given one human being the right to terminate the life of another. Not content with its “victory” here at home, the pro-abortion movement wants to foist this error on the rest of the world. And it wants U.S. taxpayers to pay for it.
President Bush has said no. He has said, in something that is called the Mexico City Policy, that it is wrong to make American taxpayers, a majority of whom objects to abortion on demand, subsidize efforts to promote this practice overseas. Organizations which will not pledge to cease and desist from such efforts, such as the International Planned Parenthood Federation, will be denied U.S. foreign aid funds.
Is this a “global gag rule,” as abortion advocates say? Or is it a reasonable effort to use foreign aid money in ways that will not offend either Americans or our friends overseas?
Free speech is fundamental to liberty and democracy, but those who attack the Mexico City Policy are not promoting either. Rather, they seek to overturn laws and constitutions in countries abroad that protect life. They attempt to undermine cultures and religious traditions which undergird the sanctity of life. And they seek to do so with U.S. tax dollars.
The argument that the Mexico City policy would not be tolerated in the U.S. is deceptive. In this country we look askance when foreign governments try to influence elections — look at the Chinese campaign contribution scandal — and we would be unhappy if foreign organizations worked to undermine our Constitution, traditions and values. Likewise, other countries, particularly those that are vulnerable and in need of aid, should not be forced or unduly influenced into accepting behavior that is abhorrent to them. This is exactly what the Mexico City Policy attempts to protect them against.
The Mexico City Policy is a modest attempt to ensure that women and families in other countries are not harmed by Western anti-natalist and pro-abortion zealots. The Mexico City Policy prohibits organizations that perform abortions, or lobby foreign governments for the legalization of same, from receiving funds. It is a just but modest measure, which should be supported by all Americans who do not want their foreign aid to be used to promote an anti-life agenda.
(Steven W. Mosher is President of the Population Research Institute, and author of Hegemon: China’s Plan to Dominate Asia and the World.)