WASHINGTON - Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT), Steve Daines (R-MT), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Ted Cruz (R-TX), John Cornyn (R-TX), and Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced a resolution Friday expressing the sense of the Senate that the Mexico City policy, or a modernized version thereof, should be permanently established in statute. The resolution also encourages President Trump to immediately take action to reapply the policy.
“There is long-standing statute limiting US 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,” Sen. Lee said. “The resolution is a Congressional support document, 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 resolution encourages a new executive memorandum from President Trump today or in the coming days, 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.
In 1984, President Ronald Reagan established the ‘‘Mexico City Policy,’’ which prohibits foreign aid for family planning purposes from being given to foreign nongovernmental organizations that provide or promote abortion as an option for family planning, regardless of the source of funding. When applied, this prohibits any foreign private or nonprofit entity from receiving US family planning foreign assistance that provides or promotes abortion.
The resolution states, “That it is the sense of the Senate that— (1) the President should immediately reapply and consider improving the Mexico City Policy; and (2) Congress should expeditiously consider statutory changes that permanently codify the Mexico City Policy or an improved version thereof.”
The resolution text can be found here: