Biden Lifts Trump Ban on U.S. Taxpayer Funding for Abortions in Foreign Countries
Democrat will rescind the 'Mexico City policy' four years after Trump reinstated it
Democrat Joe Biden is signing an executive order to lift the ban reinstated by President Donald Trump that prohibits American taxpayer funding from being used for abortions in foreign countries.
On Thursday, the White House announced that Biden will sign the order to rescind the rule known as the Mexico City policy.
Under the ban, foreign non-governmental organizations are prohibited from receiving U.S. funding if they perform or promote abortions as a method of family planning.
The policy was first signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1985 and announced at a UN conference in Mexico City.
It has been repealed by Democratic presidents and reinstated by Republicans for decades.
Biden will lift the ban almost four years to the day since President Trump signed the order that revived it.
"Across the country and around the world, people -- particularly women, black, Indigenous and other people of color, LGBTQ+ people, and those with low incomes -- have been denied access to reproductive health care," the White House said in a statement.
Biden will "protect and expand access to comprehensive reproductive health care" through a presidential memorandum," the statement announced.
"The memorandum reflects the policy of the Biden-Harris Administration to support women's and girls' sexual and reproductive health and rights in the United States, as well as globally."
Trump's 2017 memorandum had revived the policy under President George W. Bush, which prohibited the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) from giving money to foreign NGOs that performed or promoted abortion, with exceptions for rape, incest, or when needed to save a life.
Trump's memo directed the State Department to extend this to all federal departments and agencies.
According to a 2020 State Department report, only eight out of 1,340 "prime awardees" who received funding between May 2017 and September 2018 declined to adhere to the expanded policy.
A new poll from Marist and the Knights of Columbus showed that 58% of Americans oppose or strongly oppose using taxpayer dollars to support abortion.
That included 65% of Independents and 31% of Democrats.
The poll indicated some kind of opposition to overseas funding of abortion, asking more broadly: "Do you strongly support, support, oppose, or strongly oppose using tax dollars to support abortion in other countries?"
A majority of Americans (77%) opposed or strongly opposed that proposition, including 64% who identified as "pro-choice."