National Catholic Register


What the Mexico City Policy Does With Your Money

BY Paul Kengor

February 8-14, 2009 Issue | Posted 1/30/09 at 4:22 PM


As is well known by those who take the time to follow such things, one of the first major actions of President Barack Obama — as he promised — was to sign an executive order officially reversing the Mexico City Policy begun by Ronald Reagan and preserved by George W. Bush.

That policy ensured that U.S. taxpayer funding could not go to international groups that promote and perform abortions overseas.

So, for those 54% of Catholics who voted for Obama for “change,” they will now certainly get it: Their “change,” specifically, their tax dollars, will go directly to the killing of unborn babies worldwide.

They’ve voted, whether they know it or not — most do not — to pay for abortions all over the world. They will pay for girls to have abortions; they will pay to produce aborted babies.

And this is just the start of what will only get much worse if Obama fulfills other abortion promises he made on the campaign trail, ranging from signing the Freedom of Choice Act to repealing the Hyde Amendment. But let’s stick with the Mexico City Policy.

What, exactly, does this mean at the practical, real-world level? As a concrete example of what this entails, I would like to share the case of Mexico itself. I do that here for two reasons: First, I wrote on this issue for the Register back in June 2007 (“Death Wins in Mexico City,” June 3, 2007). Second, it is a painful, spiritual irony that this policy bears the name of Mexico.

To revisit what I wrote in June 2007, Mexico is facing a major cultural upheaval, beginning in Mexico City, with the possibility of storming the entire nation: the full legalization of abortion.

The Catholic Church in Mexico City has united with the country’s pro-lifers in trying to stop this human train wreck. Unfortunately, they are up against the country’s “pro-choice” forces, from leftist politicians to global “abortion-rights” groups like International Planned Parenthood, which have launched a massive, unrelenting campaign to push for abortion.

That campaign has been waged in the trenches for years now. The abortion feminists seem to have a special interest in Mexico — the nation where Our Lady appeared in Guadalupe to stop the killing of the young. They seem to be pining for revenge in the city where Ronald Reagan in 1984 first banned U.S. funding of global abortion. Abortion feminists harbor a special rage for this “anti-choice” action 25 years ago. They would love to turn the tables in Mexico in particular.

It would bring tremendous joy to their hearts to launch a hemispheric legalization of abortion throughout all of Catholic, pro-life Latin America in the city where President Reagan tried to halt this spread of death.

That brings me back to what Barack Obama did in the first week of his presidency — on Jan. 23, the day after pro-lifers marched for the cause of life in Washington, D.C.

With Obama’s reversal of the Mexico City Policy, groups like International Planned Parenthood can now receive taxpayer dollars for campaigns like the one in Mexico City.

They will be able to take your money and use it to promote the legalization of abortion — at all stages of pregnancy — in countries that heretofore have banned the procedure. They will now have deep pockets — because of your paychecks, my fellow Americans, and fellow American Catholics — to drastically outspend far poorer pro-life groups within those countries. America will be vigorously exporting the culture of death to those nations, through groups like International Planned Parenthood, and via the hard-earned money that you make at your job.

If you happen to be vacationing in Mexico and you see a giant billboard or newspaper ad or TV commercial arguing for the promotion of abortion on demand as a means of birth control, there will be a very good chance that you will have paid for that advertisement.

To my Catholic friends who voted for Obama, I ask: Is that “social justice?” Is the Kyoto Treaty more important than that?

Those Mexican pro-lifers, battling for the most basic human right, face an uphill battle against pro-abortion forces that are financially formidable because they are bankrolled by your money. The literally poor Mexican pro-lifers will be stacked against the mighty wallet of Uncle Sam. My money, and your money, will be blood money. Because of this action by our new president — elected by American Catholics — those Mexicans defending the sanctity and dignity of life are in big trouble.

And Mexico is only one such country.

Pro-lifers in these embattled countries will literally weep at this new form of American “foreign aid” and what it will do to their future — the children they would have had. As Steve Mosher has aptly put it, this gives whole new meaning to the term “Ugly American.”

The “Catholics for Obama” who produced these bitter fruits, especially those Catholics who are “personally opposed” to abortion or who voted for Obama for reasons “other” than abortion or who accepted the Democrats’ claim that the party intends abortion to be “safe, legal and rare,” have been badly used.

They have been duped, as have 46% of their Protestant brethren who joined them.

The cynical political left calls them “useful idiots.” Their very troubling ignorance was exploited by the abortion promoters who found them useful. Of course, it is difficult to excuse their ignorance, given that Obama openly promised to do precisely these things.

The consciences of these Catholics were purchased with a price that will be felt in dozens to more than a hundred countries around the world. Our ignorance has truly become deadly.

America’s new export to the world: abortion.

Made possible thanks to the money of Catholics and the votes of a majority of Catholics. Made possible by the reversal of a policy rooted in the country of Our Lady of Guadalupe — Mother of Jesus Christ, who entered the world as a baby in a manger, and Mother who faced the ultimate unexpected pregnancy.

It is in her intercession and God’s power that we have hope. Our hope can’t come from the administration we’ve elected, though miracles are not impossible. Our hope must come from the possibility of conversion and from the hard work the Church is putting into opposing Obama.

It’s too bad that these efforts are coming after he is in office — but it is heartening that it is coming all the same.

Paul Kengor is professor of political science at Grove City College. He is author of God and Ronald Reagan (HarperCollins, 2004) and The Judge: William P. Clark, Ronald Reagan’s Top Hand (Ignatius Press, 2007).