January 24, 2001
volume 12, no. 24
Reaction to Bush's Ban on Abortion Funding

    WASHINGTON, DC, Jan. 23, 01 ( - After President George W. Bush signed a new executive order reinstating a ban on funding for international population control groups that provide abortion services on Monday, groups on both sides of the issue expressed their support or dismay at the decision.

    The spokesman for the pro-life committee of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, Gail Quinn, hailed the decision to reinstate the so-called Mexico City Policy. "Withholding funds from organizations that promote or perform abortions overseas (often in violation of the host country's own laws), sends a clear message that Americans will not subsidize attacks on the first and most basic human right, the right to life," she said.

    The Mexico City policy, first set up by the Reagan administration in 1984, prohibits American taxpayer money from supporting groups that perform or lobby for abortion in foreign countries. "In my experience at the United Nations, both diplomats and regular citizens around the world have come to believe that Americans hate them," said Austin Ruse of the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute. "This is because of the previous Administration's aggressive support of the spread of abortion to the developing world through financing of such extremist abortion groups as International Planned Parenthood Federation."

    Critics assailed the policy as a step backwards. "While we meet here to develop equality policies, on the other side of the globe we have a step backwards," EU Employment and Social Affairs Commissioner Anna Diamantopoulou said at a news conference after a ministerial meeting on women's rights.

    Diamantopoulou, part of the EU's executive arm, said the decision was harmful to poor women in developing countries who depend on non-governmental organizations, or NGOs. "We can all understand what it means to control women ... and how important the role the NGOs play in family planning," she said.

For other news stories, see

January 24, 2001
volume 12, no. 24
DAILY News regarding the Sanctity of Life

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