Sen. Lee Introduces Protecting Life in Foreign Assistance Act

February 10, 2020

WASHINGTON – Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced the Protecting Life in Foreign Assistance Act Monday, a bill that would codify President Trump’s 2017 executive order prohibiting the availability of foreign aid to organizations that provide or promote abortions.

“The administration’s ban on funding overseas organizations that promote abortion has already saved and will continue to save countless lives across the globe,” Sen. Lee said. “The Protecting Life in Foreign Assistance Act would save countless more lives by making this ban on abortion promotion permanent.”

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan first instituted the Mexico City Policy, prohibiting the availability of family planning foreign assistance funds to organizations that provide abortions, promote or counsel for abortions, or advocate to change abortion laws in a foreign country.

Since then, the policy has been alternately rescinded and reinstated with changing administrations. President Trump reinstated this policy, renamed the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance policy, to prohibit any foreign assistance funding from being granted to groups who perform abortions or promote abortion. The State Department also expanded this policy under Secretary Pompeo by refusing to fund foreign NGOs that give money to other foreign NGOs engaged in the international abortion industry.

This bill acknowledges the sanctity of life of all people, including the unborn in other countries, and seeks to ensure that citizens of the United States are not made complicit in abortion through taxpayer funding to non-profits and non-governmental organizations that act overseas. The United States should administer its foreign aid programs with respect for the inherent dignity of each and every human life.

Cosponsors include: Sens. Thom Tillis (R-NC), Steve Daines (R-MT), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Tom Cotton (R-AK), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Mike Braun (R-IN), Rick Scott (R-FL), Tim Scott (R-SC), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Roy Blunt (R-MO), James Lankford (R-OK), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), Richard Burr (R-NC), and Mike Rounds (R-SD).

Virginia Foxx (R-NC) has introduced companion legislation in the House.