On Monday, President Donald Trump reinstated the Mexico City Policy, an international pro-life regulation that is generally seen as an indicator of an incoming president’s views on abortion.
The executive order was signed January 23, one day after the
anniversary of the far-reaching Roe v. Wade decision that mandated legal
abortion throughout the U.S.
Originally instituted by President Ronald Reagan in 1984, the Mexico
City Policy states that foreign non-governmental organizations may not
receive federal funding if they perform or promote abortions as a method
of family planning.
In the years that followed, the Mexico City Policy has become
emblematic of a new president’s stance on abortion. Incoming presidents
generally overturn or reinstate the policy within their first week of
office, symbolizing the stance that they will take on abortion issues
over the course of their presidency.
President Bill Clinton overturned the policy on January 22, 1993.
President George W. Bush reinstated it January 22, 2001.
Barack Obama once again rescinded it on January 23, 2009, drawing swift
criticism from the Vatican.
Restoring the policy was not among Trump’s campaign promises, leading
to some concern over whether he would institute the policy if elected.
Trump did make other pro-life campaign promises, including pledges to
nominate pro-life Supreme Court justices; sign into law a ban on
late-term abortions; defund Planned Parenthood and reallocate funding to
community health centers that do not perform abortions; and make
permanent a ban taxpayer funding of abortion.