In Support of the Smith-Stupak Amendment to Restore the Mexico City Policy
Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Chairman, someday future generations of Americans will look back on us and wonder how and why such a rich and seemingly enlightened society, so blessed and endowed with the capacity to protect and enhance vulnerable human life, could have instead so aggressively promoted death to children by abortion.
They will note that we prided ourselves on our human rights rhetoric and record, while precluding virtually all protection to the most persecuted minority in the world today, unborn children. They will indeed wonder why it took so long to stop just one hideous method of death, partial-birth abortion--and why dismembering a child with sharp knives, pulverizing a child with powerful suction devices or chemically poisoning a baby with any number of toxic chemicals, failed to elicit so much as a scintilla of empathy, mercy or compassion for the victims.
Abortion is violence against children, Mr. Chairman. It is extreme child abuse. It is cruelty to children. It exploits women. In America, it has destroyed 49 million unborn babies and wounded countless numbers of women.
Now, as in previous years, some Members of Congress want to export the violence of abortion to Africa, Latin America and parts of Asia and Europe by reversing the prolife Mexico City policy and by providing in-kind assistance to some of the most vociferous pro-abortion organizations on the Earth.
To counter that, Mr. Stupak and I are offering an amendment, to strike the pro-abortion enabling language contained in this bill.
First announced by the Reagan administration at a 1984 U.N. Population Conference held in Mexico City, hence its name, the current policy simply requires that foreign nongovernmental organizations agree, as a condition of their receipt of Federal assistance for family-planning activities, to neither perform nor actively promote abortion as a method of family planning.
The three exceptions in the Mexico City policy are rape, incest and life of the mother.
Mr. Chairman, today, scores of countries throughout the world are literally under siege in a well-coordinated, exceedingly well-funded campaign to legalize abortion on demand, putting women and children at risk. Most of the pressure is coming directly from foreign nongovernmental organizations like the International Planned Parenthood Federation based in London. IPPF and its country affiliates perform abortions and lobby aggressively for abortion on demand.
IPPF, you will recall, in 1992 adopted an abortion manifesto called Vision 2000, a sweeping "action plan.'' Vision 2000 says that IPPF and its affiliates, and I quote this, ``Will bring pressure on governments and campaign for policy and legislative changes to remove restrictions against abortions.'' The Mexico City policy puts a stop to enabling IPPF and likeminded groups from doing just that.
So it couldn't be more clear, Mr. Chairman, that if we provide either cash or in-kind contributions to abortion organizations, we empower them and we enable them to campaign to expand abortion. Instead, we should direct our funds and in-kind assistance, including commodities and contraceptives, to organizations committed only to family planning.
IPPF's vision, Mr. Chairman, is what I call a nightmare. Earlier my friend, Mr. Jackson, was talking about the least of our brethren found in Matthew's Gospel, Chapter 25. Who in this world fits the definition of the least of our brethren more than a helpless unborn child who is being killed by dismemberment or chemical poison? I don't know who. Unborn babies are the most vulnerable people on Earth, I say to my good friend.
IPPF's vision is a world of free abortion and unfettered access to subsidized abortion rights right up until birth. It is all in their documents. They're for abortions for minors even without any parental notification or consent, and they don't like conscience clauses for doctors and health care practitioners, either.
One only has to look at Planned Parenthood here in the United States to understand where their affiliates would take the rest of the world. The Planned Parenthood Federation of America has, for example, co-located family planning clinics with abortion mills. They annually perform 265,000 abortions every year in America, a quarter of all the abortions in our country a staggering loss of children's lives. One organization. They lobby and litigate to stop women's right-to-know laws and parental consent laws. They lobby in favor of partial birth abortion. If that is not child abuse, I don't know what is. Make no mistake about it, Mr. Chairman, that is what they want to do everywhere. We kid ourselves if we don't realize that and appreciate that.
The Mexico City policy, on the other hand, separates abortion from family planning in certain foreign aid programs. It ensures that family planning is the exclusive activity of the organization and not abortion. If we provide other cash or in-kind contributions or anything of value, we again empower, we enrich and we enable these organizations. It is all about whom we give to.
Finally, I would like to say with deep respect to my pro-life colleagues, especially on the Democratic side of the aisle, some of whom are under intense pressure to support the other side and to oppose Mr. Stupak and me, if protecting babies and women from abortion matters to you, and I mean really, really matters to you, there is no way that any of us could work to overturn the Mexico City policy. This is the time to stand for the innocent and the inconvenient ones who can't speak for themselves.
Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.