Pro-abortion politicians often declare that they want to keep abortions safe and legal but at the same time reduce their number. Recently the U.S. Senate had a chance to reduce abortions by supporting the Mexico City Policy which denies any U.S. funding for organizations that perform and promote abortion as a method of family planning.
However, by a vote of 53 to 41, the Senate passed an amendment by the pro-abortion Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) that overturned this wise pro-life policy and will now allow U.S taxpayer money to fund overseas health clinics that provide abortion. As a result of this Senate vote, the U.S. government can provide funding that will increase abortion as a means of population control. Rather than reduce abortion, this amendment is likely to further exploit many poor and vulnerable women in crisis pregnancies living in the developing world.
The U.S. Catholic Bishops have long supported the Mexico City Policy first initiated by President Ronald W. Reagan in 1981 and it was later overturned during the Clinton administration. In 2001, President Bush restored the pro-life policy stating: “It is my conviction that taxpayer funds should not be used to pay for abortions or advocate or actively promote abortion, either here or abroad.” Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia, the Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee for Pro-Life Activities, wrote the members of the Congress urging them not to rescind the Mexico City Policy as it would only increase abortion, stating: “Logic and common sense dictate that we cannot reduce abortions by supporting groups dedicated to promoting abortion. Such a policy is simply at war with itself.”
Sadly 16 of the 25 Catholic senators including Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island voted in favor of rejecting the Mexico City Policy. By their vote to overturn the Mexico City Policy, Sen. Reed and his 15 fellow Catholic Senators clearly demonstrated their support to further promote abortion on demand not make it “safe and rare.” By doing so, they have disregarded one of the central truths of their Catholic faith, the sanctity of innocent human life, in favor of the public financing of “population programs.”
Their votes not only promote abortion but ensure that it will now be used as a means of population control and contraception.
We urge President Bush to honor his pledge to veto any appropriations bill that “weakens current Federal policies and laws on abortion.” We also urge the 16 Catholic senators to reconsider their unyielding and blind support for the promotion of abortion. Justice demands that the unborn children of the developing nations deserve more than policies that treat them as a population problem but rather a policy that respects and welcomes them as children of God.