On Sunday, January 22, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order that reinstates the so-called “Mexico City Rule,” a move that stops all US funding to international “Non-Governmental Organizations” (NGOs) that provide “abortion services” around the world.
Deriving its name from a 1984 “population conference” in that city, where then-President Reagan announced the new policy, the rule has bounced like a ping pong ball to the “on” and “off” position with each change from a Republican President to a Democrat. It prevents the unconstitutional US Agency for International Development (USAID) from handing any tax money to any organization that offers abortion as one of its “services.” Current US law forbids the feds from funding specific abortion programs, but the Mexico City Rule bans any money to any international group that, among its programs, performs abortions or arranges and pays for them as an intermediary. If any international organization shifts fungible assets to abortions, the US AID gang will no longer take taxpayer cash to fund that organization.
The two organizations most effected by this are Planned Parenthood International and Marie Stopes International, which, according to Patrick Goodenough, of CNS News, will see losses of $100 million and approximately $30 million.
The reactions from pro-abortion circles have been almost poetically bereft of any understanding of the concept of peaceful interaction – or even of the causes of pregnancies and abortions for that matter.
CNN’s Laura Koran noted, get this:
Trump's decision was labeled as "catastrophic," leading to women in developing countries "paying the price," according to Marie Stopes International's vice-president and director of the organization's international operations Marjorie Newman-Williams.
According to the charity, the loss of its services during Trump's first term could cause 6.5 million unintended pregnancies, 2.2 million abortions, 2.1 million unsafe abortions, and 21,700 maternal deaths.
Now, unless the President is a very busy and virile man, Trump’s actions will not “cause” any unintended pregnancies or anything associated with pregnancies, including deaths. His action neither makes women pregnant, makes a woman engage in behavior that will make her pregnant, nor blocks any human being from attempting to obtain a service or a product to prevent pregnancy or abort a conceived human. He is not shifting the funds to pay for international police to block the doors of the International Planned Parenthood locations in 170 nations nor is he arresting people who try to enter the Marie Stopes offices in 37 nations.
This is a significant point which even some conservatives miss when applied to their favored federal programs. The cessation of tax redistribution into areas someone admired or lauded as “essential” does not prohibit the service or program; it does not prevent anyone from voluntarily choosing to fund what they value. In fact, by eliminating taxes on as many programs as possible, the state, in its generic form, actually allows people to reflect their own beliefs and preferences with their own money, time, and attention.
As those who have sat in a philosophy class likely know, state funding (euphemistically called “support”) undercuts the idea that anyone supports the thing or service that is given the state funds. The politicians certainly aren’t using their own money. They are voting to force others to pay. The taxpayers don’t necessarily “care” because if they don’t pay the taxes, they will be jailed and/or lose their property. In order to show value, people must be able to decide for themselves where to spend their time, money and energy. Volition is the key to all true valuation, and government tax seizure and redistribution negates volition, thus negating valuation.
No one “cares” for women by forcing his or her neighbor to pay for International Planned Parenthood, just like no one “cares” for history by forcing others to pay for a museum.
So, by claiming Mr. Trump will be sentencing women to unwanted pregnancies and possibly death, not only are critics not acknowledging the general choice-action-consequences paradigm of engaging in the act of sexual intercourse, they are not only negating the general principle of individual responsibility, they are implying that without force and the threat of imprisonment, people in America would not care enough to voluntarily pay for their particular favored “service.” If people truly value something, why is force needed?
And a great deal of this debate serves to overlook an important fact:
US taxpayers will still foot the bill for international NGOs performing abortions.
Because the US pays for more than a fifth of the budget of the wonderfully anti-freedom United Nations.
Again, Mr. Goodenough (what a great name!) has done a service on this front. In 2015, he reported the total of US funds going to the UN, approximately $2,957,000,000, or 22% of the total UN budget – a percentage that has remained consistent for years.
The UN funds International Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers. One bureau of the organization, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) has been long-debated for its association with the brutal Chinese “Old Child” policy, which has included forced sterilizations, and may see the Trump Administration working to stop funding to UNFPA in particular. It has been a political football in Canada for years, seeing debate about it last year when the Liberal-led government proposed an $81 million grant to go to it. But even without the UNFPA, the UN shovels tax money into International Planned Parenthood. In fact, as Samantha Singson noted for Lifenews in 2011, it’s not just abortion funding via the UN, but via other international agencies, such as the World Bank, that are supported by US taxpayers:
Although governments have reduced or eliminated funding of Planned Parenthood, UN agencies are still filling IPPF coffers with grants. In 2010, UNFPA increased its contribution to over $1.6 million. The newest UN agency, UN Women, debuted on IPPF’s list of donors with a contribution of over $330,000. UNAIDS gave IPPF more than $1 million. Rounding out contributions from UN agencies, the World Bank, UNAIDS and the WHO also gave over $400,000 collective, despite not contributing at all in 2009.
Trump’s move to reinstate the Mexico City Rule won’t stop much, if any, of this stolen money being sent around the world to support activities many of the taxpayers would not have chosen to support in the first place. Abortion is an incendiary issue, with strong opinions on all sides, but the principle would be the same for any tax redistribution. If we were to change the recipient from an abortion group to one offering to less controversial services, the impropriety of the action of wealth redistribution would be the unchanged.
All of these agencies operate under the fictitious veneer that their mere existence shows that people “care” about unplanned pregnancies and the hard lives of people born into population centers where the economies are barely productive enough to support them. But they force people to pay for them. No one shows he cares about programs by becoming angry that his or her neighbor is robbed less to pay for them. He merely shows he doesn’t understand peace and voluntary activity.