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    Exporting abortion politics: the battle over international family planning assistance.

    Lasher C

    CONSCIENCE. 1991 Sep-Oct; 12(5):22-3.

    Congressional legislation seeking to overturn US government restrictions on international family planning assistance face a possible presidential veto. Dating back to the Reagan years, the 1984 Mexico City Policy prohibits foreign nongovernmental organizations (NGO) receiving US money from performing or actively promoting abortion as a family planning method. Even if abortion is legal in that particular country, the agency involved may not even discuss abortion as one of the medical options of a pregnant woman. In line with the Mexico City Policy, the US has withdrawn funding from both the International Planned Parenthood Federation, the largest NGO in the population field, and the Family Planning International Assistance, the international division of the Planned Parenthood federation of America. One of the effects of the Mexico City Policy has been to make family planning more controversial, and to increase opposition to birth control. In addition to the Mexico City Policy, the Reagan years also saw the implementation of a policy that denies funding to the UNFPA, charged by the US of "co-managing" China's population program that engages in coercive abortion and involuntary sterilization. The UNFPA has denied such charges. So far, President George Bush -- previously a supporter of family planning programs -- has sided with opponents of abortion, and has threatened a veto threat may soon be tested, since Congress has drafted a foreign aid appropriations bill that has includes a measure saying that NGOs should be treated in the same manner as their governments, which are exempt from the Mexico City Policy so long as US funds are not used to support abortions.
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