WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - Democrats in Congress are getting criticized for including funding for overseas abortions in their budget bill.
One of the first things Democrats did after taking control of the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday was introduce a spending bill that includes funding for "family planning" services in foreign countries. This would overturn President Donald Trump's policy of prohibiting the use of taxpayer money to fund abortions in foreign countries.
The federal government has been in a shutdown for two weeks due to Congress failing to pass a spending bill for the remainder of the 2019 fiscal year.
One section of the Democrats' bill is titled "Global Health Programs." It prohibits government money from going toward "coercive" abortions and sterilizations in foreign countries but allows taxpayer funding for what it calls "voluntary family planning" services.
This move from the Democrats has drawn intense criticism from pro-lifers and Republicans. For example, one op-ed in the Washington Examiner states bluntly, "Nancy Pelosi says no to the wall but yes to overseas abortion funding."
The Examiner op-ed, penned by commentary writer Philip Wegmann, goes on to say, "This shows exactly what kind of speaker Pelosi will be. When President Trump negotiates with Pelosi, he will be sparring with a shrewd negotiator and a champion of the abortion industry."
Wegmann notes that former Planned Parenthood CEO Cecil Richards considers Nancy Pelosi one of their strongest allies. Richards told Vice in November 2018, "Nancy Pelosi is the reason we still have access to abortion rights under the Affordable Care Act."
Though the House Democrats' bill specifically has language against funding for forced abortions, it also provides $37.5 million in funding to the United Nations Population Fund — an organization that has been accused of being complicit in China's forced abortion policy.
Furthermore, as noted by LifeNews, the bill includes language that would restore $100 million of federal funding for Planned Parenthood that was previously cut by the Trump administration.
The White House has announced that it will likely veto the Democrats' bill.
California Democrat Nancy Pelosi, a nominal Catholic, became speaker of the House on Thursday. In her speech, she made reference to the Catholic faith — even though she favors same-sex "marriage" and is fiercely pro-abortion.
For example, Pelosi said at one point, "Let me especially thank my constituents in San Francisco, who have entrusted me to represent them in Congress in the spirit of Saint Francis, our patron saint."
Later on, the new speaker turned to the issue of environmentalism, arguing it is important "to be good stewards of God's creation."
Pelosi concluded her address with a gender-inclusive paraphrase of the patriotic song "America the Beautiful," declaring, "Let us pray that God may bless our work, and crown our good with brotherhood and sisterhood, from sea to shining sea."
When President Trump took office, one of the first things he did was reinstate the Mexico City policy, which prevents U.S. money from going to foreign organizations that promote abortion. With the Democrats' recent move, they are trying to subvert this policy immediately after gaining control of the House.
The Mexico City policy was first implemented in 1984 under then-President Ronald Reagan. In the years that followed, it was rescinded by the Clinton administration, then reinstated by President George W. Bush, then rescinded again by President Barack Obama and restored again by President Trump.