Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaking at a lectern (State Dept./Michael Gross)
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo makes remarks to the press on March 26. (State Dept./Michael Gross)

A policy to prevent U.S. taxpayer dollars from being used to subsidize or promote abortion applies to foreign nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

The “Mexico City Policy” — named because it was announced by the late President Reagan at a conference in that city — was expanded by President Trump in 2017.

On March 26, Pompeo specifically pointed to concerns about abortion-related advocacy by an organ of the Organization of American States (OAS). He said the U.S. would reduce its contributions to the OAS by an amount equal to the estimated U.S. share of possible OAS expenditures on such activities.

Further, he said, he has directed the State Department to include a provision in foreign assistance agreements that explicitly prohibits the use of funds for abortion-related advocacy.

Pompeo said most implementing partners of the U.S. have agreed to comply with the Mexico City Policy.

He emphasized the U.S. will refuse global health assistance to NGOs that offer financial support to other overseas groups engaged in performing or promoting abortion. “We will enforce a strict prohibition on backdoor funding schemes and end-runs around our policy,” Pompeo said. “American taxpayer money will not be used to underwrite abortions.”

“This administration has shown that we can continue to meet our global health goals, including providing health care for women, while refusing to subsidize the killing of unborn babies,” Pompeo said.

He said the new provision will mean that the nearly $9 billion of foreign aid the U.S. spends on global health programs each year will protect “more unborn babies around the world than ever before.”

“This is decent. This is right,” Pompeo said. “And I’m proud to serve in an administration that protects the least amongst us.”