1. Trump’s ban hits foreign abortion rights groups, By Laurie McGinley and Amy Goldstein, The Washington Post, January 24, 2017, Pg. A3.

President Trump on Monday barred U.S. aid to foreign organizations that use funds from other sources to perform or discuss abortions.

Since its inception in 1984, the funding ban — officially known as the “Mexico City policy” and referred to as “the global gag rule” by its critics — has been repealed and reinstated every time a different political party has assumed power in the White House.

The rule stayed in place under President George H.W. Bush and then was rescinded by President Bill Clinton in January 1993. When President George W. Bush came into office in 2001, he imposed the rule that Jan. 22 — the 23rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court Case that legalized abortion in the United States. President Barack Obama lifted the rule eight years later.

Even when the rule has not been in effect, however, existing federal law has barred the use of U.S. funds to pay for abortions anywhere in the world.

The wording of the executive order raised the possibility that the rule will now apply to any of the government’s global health assistance. Previously, the rule was limited to State Department funding of family-planning programs.

Reagan had announced the policy at a United Nations conference in Mexico City. It “marked an expansion of existing legislative restrictions that already prohibited U.S. funding for abortion internationally,” according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, which issued a report on the issue Monday.

Before the Mexico City policy was promulgated, the foundation said, nongovernmental organizations could use non-U. S. funds to engage in abortion-related activities as long as they kept separate accounts for any U.S. money received. That practice is not permitted under the policy.


2. Trump executive memorandum reinstates ‘Mexico City Policy’ on abortion, By Mark Pattison, Catholic News Service, January 23, 2017, 4:27 PM.

President Donald J. Trump issued an executive memorandum Jan. 23 reinstating the “Mexico City Policy,” which bans all foreign nongovernmental organizations receiving U.S. funds from performing or promoting abortion as a method of family planning in other countries.

The action was hailed by pro-life leaders.

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee for Pro-Life Activities, applauded the news in a Jan. 23 statement. “This is a welcome step toward restoring and enforcing important federal policies that respect the most fundamental human right — the right to life — as well as the long-standing, bipartisan consensus against forcing Americans to participate in the violent act of abortion,” he said.

“By redirecting taxpayer dollars away from the international abortion industry, President Trump has reinstituted life-affirming protections for unborn children and their mothers,” said a Jan. 23 statement by Rep. Chris Smith, R-New Jersey, co-chair of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus. “There is political consensus that taxpayer dollars should not fund abortion and the abortion industry.”

The executive memorandum “makes clear that Trump intends to carry out with his promised pro-life agenda. Taxpayer funding for abortions, whether here or overseas, is unpopular with voters and is plain wrong,” said a Jan. 23 statement by Ashley McGuire, a senior fellow with the Catholic Association.

“It amounts to subsidizing the violent victimization of women and children, in particular poor and minority women who feel they have no choice but to have an abortion,” McGuire said. “Redirecting those funds to health centers that offer women real choice and hope is the right policy moving forward.”


3. Pro-Life Groups Praise President Donald Trump Signing Order Defunding International Planned Parenthood, By Steven Ertelt, LifeNews.com, January 23, 2017, 2:22 PM.

Leading pro-life organizations today are delighted that President Donald Trump signed an executive order reinstating the Mexico City policy.

“President Trump’s reinstatement of the Mexico City policy banning the use of public funds to groups providing or promoting abortion overseas is a welcome change after eight years of aggressively pro-abortion policies. It also makes clear that Trump intends to carry out with his promised pro-life agenda. Taxpayer funding for abortions, whether here or overseas, is unpopular with voters and is plain wrong. It amounts to subsidizing the violent victimization of women and children, in particular poor and minority women who feel they have no choice but to have an abortion. Redirecting those funds to health centers that offer women real choice and hope is the right policy moving forward. Thank you, President Trump, for standing up for the vulnerable and for holding true to your promise to help bring an end to taxpayer funded abortion.” Ashley McGuire, Senior Fellow with The Catholic Association

“Three days after President Obama took office he rescinded the Mexico City Policy, thereby allowing foreign non-governmental organizations to use American tax-payers’ money to perform abortions overseas.  Today, three days into his own term, Mr. Trump returns the favor and reinstates the policy.  Not cowed by the often-vulgar and stridently pro-abortion demonstrations that took place across the United States over the weekend, the President instead is allying himself with majority American opinion.  A recent Marist poll shows that 83% of Americans oppose using our tax dollars to fund abortions in other countries.  This in turn reflects the fact that most Americans, even those that favor some element of “choice” consider abortion to be morally wrong.  Vulnerable women in developing countries will once again be protected from companies like the International Planned Parenthood Federation who have been using our tax dollars to “help” them by eliminating their children.” Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie, Policy Advisor with The Catholic Association

“Taxpayers should not be funding the abortion industry at home or abroad. Pope Francis has warned against the policy of the previous administration of holding foreign aid hostage to abortion promotion, calling it “ideological colonization”. The reinstatement of the Mexico City Policy is a welcome change.” Maureen Ferguson, Senior Policy Advisor with The Catholic Association


4. Poll finds even pro-choice Americans back abortion limits, By Crux Staff, Crux, January 23, 2017.

A new Marist College/Knights of Columbus poll finds that strong majorities of Americans, including narrow majorities of those Americans who identify as “pro-choice,” support abortion restrictions such as limiting it to the first trimester and not using taxpayer money to fund abortions.

Overall, the poll found that 74 percent of Americans support one or more such restriction, including 54 percent of those who call themselves “pro-choice.”

The poll found that 83 percent of Americans oppose the use of tax dollars to support abortion in other countries, and more than six in 10 oppose the use of tax dollars to fund abortions in the United States.  This includes almost nine in 10 Trump supporters, 87 percent, and even nearly four in 10 Clinton supporters, 39 percent.

In terms of limiting abortion to the first trimester, a majority of Clinton supporters, 55 percent, and more than nine in 10 Trump supporters, 91 percent, say they would approve.

Nearly six in 10 Americans say limiting abortion to the first trimester is either an immediate priority or an important one. That total includes 78 percent of Republicans and 47 percent of Democrats. Among those who say they’re pro-choice, 44 percent say restricting abortion is an immediate priority or important.

Among those who want restrictions, 74 percent also want the U.S. Supreme Court to rule in favor of those restrictions.  According to the poll-takers, this equates to about 55 percent of Americans who support such action by the Court.

“There is a consensus in America in favor of significant abortion restrictions, and this common ground exists across party lines, and even among significant numbers of those who are pro-choice,” said Knights of Columbus CEO Carl Anderson.

“This poll shows that large percentages of Americans, on both sides of the aisle, are united in their opposition to the status quo as it relates to abortion on demand. This is heartening, and can help start a new national conversation on abortion.”

Among Catholics, 60 percent of practicing Catholics identified as pro-life, as opposed to 37 percent who said they’re pro-choice. For non-practicing Catholics, the totals were inverted – 64 percent said they’re pro-choice, and 31 percent pro-life.

Among both practicing and non-practicing Catholics, large shares support abortion restrictions, especially the idea of limiting abortion to the first trimester of pregnancy. Seventy-four percent of practicing Catholics, and 68 percent of those who are non-practicing, also would like to see the Supreme Court rule to allow such a restriction.

Seventy-one percent of practicing Catholics, and 57 percent of the non-practicing, either oppose or strongly oppose using taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions, and more than 80 percent of both groups oppose using public money to fund abortions overseas.


5. Over 80 Percent of Americans Support Mexico City Policy, By Alexandra Desanctis, National Review Online, January 23, 2017, 5:11 PM.

This morning, President Trump issued an executive order reinstating the Mexico City policy, also known as the global gag rule, which prevents groups that provide or promote abortion overseas from receiving U.S. aid money. The policy was instituted under Ronald Reagan and by every subsequent Republican president; both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama rescinded the policy during their presidencies.

This news — which some have hailed as evidence of Trump’s authentic pro-life sympathies — comes on the same day as the release of a comprehensive Knights of Columbus-Marist poll, which found that significant majorities of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion. In fact, the poll found that Americans overwhelmingly oppose using federal money to fund abortion in other countries, presumably indicting that they would support Trump’s decision to reinstate the Mexico City policy.

Eighty-three percent of those surveyed said they opposed federal funding of overseas abortions, including nearly 40 percent of people who supported Clinton in the 2016 election.


6. People fleeing war, traffickers need greater protection, pope says, By Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service, January 23, 2017.

Victims of human trafficking and migrants smuggled across borders by criminal networks are the weakest of the weak and need increased protection and care, Pope Francis said.

“All those who flee their own country because of war, violence and persecution have the right to find an appropriate welcome and adequate protection in countries that describe themselves (as) civilized,” he said.

The pope made his remarks during an audience on January 23 with about 40 representatives from Italy’s national anti-mafia and anti-terrorism office.

He thanked them for their difficult and dangerous work and encouraged them to continue their “extremely essential” efforts in liberating people from criminal associations that are responsible for violence and an abuse of power “stained with human blood.”