Senators ask Trump to restrict family planning aid to foreign countries

Background by desifoto, foreground by Rusanovska; DigitalVision Vectors / Getty Images, St. George News

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA — A group of Republican U.S. senators, including Utah Sen. Mike Lee, introduced a resolution Friday to permanently establish a statute that would prevent foreign aid going to any organization that provides or promotes abortion as an option for family planning, asking President Donald Trump to immediately reapply the Reagan-era policy.

Lee joined Sens. Steve Daines of Montana, Jerry Moran of Kansas, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Ted Cruz of Texas, John Cornyn of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky to introduce a modernized version of President Ronald Reagan’s 1984 “Mexico City Policy.” Lee said:

There is long-standing statute limiting U.S. foreign assistance from being spent on the promotion or provision of abortion services. Through executive memorandum, Mexico City Policy was created almost 33 years ago. During more than half of the time since the policy’s creation, it has been enforced as standing US foreign aid policy – for a total of 17 years.

The resolution encourages a new executive memorandum from Trump, reapplying the policy and its family planning foreign aid restrictions as it was during the Bush administration, while leaving the opportunity for the new administration to review the policy and apply an “improved version thereof.” This language lays the predicate for future legislative action to codify whatever policy the executive applies.

“The resolution is a Congressional support document,” Lee said, “rooted in legislative and executive history, representing the will of the majority of Americans to see more restrictions on funding for abortion – restrictions President Trump can immediately impose – applied to our foreign aid expenditures of taxpayer dollars.”

The full text of the resolution can be viewed here.

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