News & Politics

Poll: 83% of Americans Back Trump Reversal of Obama's Overseas Abortion Funding

PJ Media collage of AP Images of President Donald Trump and President Barack Obama.

On Monday, President Donald Trump reinstated the “Mexico City Policy,” which President Obama removed when he took office and which bars non-governmental organizations that offer or promote abortion overseas from receiving federal government funding. A poll on abortion attitudes released the same day showed a vast majority of Americans agree with the general policy behind the policy.

An in-depth poll on abortion attitudes sponsored by the Knights of Columbus and administered by Marist Poll revealed that a whopping 83 percent of Americans oppose or strongly oppose “using tax dollars to support abortions in foreign countries.”

“We applaud President Trump for putting an end to taxpayer funding of groups that promote the killing of unborn children in developing nations,” Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), declared in a statement Monday

The “Mexico City Policy” was established in 1984, when President Ronald Reagan responded to an international population-control conference in Mexico City. Under the policy, in order to be eligible for certain types of foreign aid a private organization must sign a contract promising not to perform abortions (except in the famous trifecta of cases: rape, incest, or a threat to the life of the mother), lobby to change a host country’s abortion laws, or otherwise “actively promote abortion as a method of family planning.”

When President Obama took office, he suspended this policy. As NRLC’s legislative director, Jennifer Popik, explained, “over his eight years in office, President Obama advanced a pro-abortion agenda with executive orders and regulations that were destructive to the lives of many unborn children.”

Indeed, a panel in April of last year revealed that the United Nations uses false statistics in order to push unwanted — and unsafe — forms of contraception on women in developing countries. These same statistics support the idea that there is a high demand for contraception and abortion.

One of the most convoluted examples? The United Nations counts contraceptives as “saving the lives of newborns” because they prevent babies from being born. The UN considers it a “life saved” when a baby is not conceived, because infant mortality in the region is high. In a similar convoluted fashion, one might expect the Obama administration and other liberals to consider it a “life saved” when a baby is aborted — because that baby never died outside of the womb.

Whether or not that is the case, the “executive action by President Trump will get the U.S. out of the business of international abortion advocacy under the guise of family planning,” Popik said.

The poll showing huge support for the “Mexico City Policy” found that every type of American opposes taxpayer funding going to abortion overseas. Even liberal groups that might be expected to support abortion funding in other countries did not. Almost three-quarters (73 percent) of pro-choice Americans said they oppose overseas abortion funding, along with 70 percent of Democrats and 70 percent of Clinton supporters.

Results of a poll by the Knights of Columbus and Marist showing most Americans opposing taxpayer funding of abortion overseas.

Results of a poll by the Knights of Columbus and Marist showing most Americans opposing taxpayer funding of abortion overseas.

Naturally, conservative groups were even more united. Almost every singe pro-life American (95 percent) in the poll opposed overseas abortion funding, along with 94 percent of Republicans and 95 percent of Trump supporters. A full 86 percent of independents agreed, along with vast majorities of African Americans (85 percent), Latinos (81 percent), and white people (83 percent).

The poll revealed a widespread agreement on concrete abortion policy issues, despite the polarizing labels of “pro-life” and “pro-choice.” Vast majorities of Americans supported limiting abortion to the first three months of pregnancy or other restrictions. They also supported conscience protections for businesses and healthcare providers from being forced to cover and perform abortions. A majority also said limiting abortion was either an “immediate priority” or “important.”

House Majority Whip Steny Hoyer, a Democrat congressman from Maryland, attacked Trump’s move as “no surprise to the millions of women and men who gathered in protest this weekend across the country — and around the world — that Republicans are focused more on making it harder for women to access healthcare than on the serious economic and security challenges we face.”

Following the UN’s idea of contraception as health care, and pushing that to abortion, Hoyer argued that Trump “is actively preventing vulnerable women in developing countries from being able to receive the healthcare they need” from aid organizations carrying out “their important, lifesaving work.”

Which life does an abortion save? The policy has a specific exception in the cases where abortion would save the life of the mother. If abortion is ever to be considered health care, that would be it — and the policy also has exceptions for rape and incest.

While 500,000 women may have descended on Washington, D.C., this weekend, a vast majority of the American people oppose taxpayer funds going to abortion. Hoyer can say what he wants, but this poll (which surveyed 2,729 Americans on both landlines and cell phones, in both Spanish and English, and with a margin of error of plus or minus 1.9 percent) shows that most Americans disagree with him.

Trump may be unpopular, but this policy certainly is not. By condemning this, Democrats risk alienating members of their own party — not to mention the others who make up 83 percent of the country. Perhaps they should learn to pick their battles.