Review of the Implementation of the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance Policy

Executive Summary

On January 23, 2017, President Trump issued a Presidential Memorandum that reinstated the “Mexico City Policy” for family-planning assistance awarded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). That Memorandum further directed the Secretary of State, in coordination with the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), to implement a plan to extend the Policy to “global health assistance furnished by all departments or agencies” to the extent allowable by law. The expanded Policy is referred to as “Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance (PLGHA)” and requires foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that receive global health assistance from affected Federal Departments and Agencies to agree that they will not perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning or provide financial support to any other organization that conducts such activities. PLGHA applies to all new and existing grants and cooperative agreements issued by the Departments of State (State), Defense (DoD) and HHS and USAID to provide global health assistance.

In February 2018, the Department of State released the “Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance Six-Month Review,” which summarized the implementation efforts of U.S. Government Departments and Agencies through the end of Fiscal Year (FY) 2017. The six-month review called for 1 a second review to enable a more thorough examination of the Policy’s benefits and challenges.

The purpose of the Policy is to prevent American taxpayers from subsidizing abortion through global health assistance provided for populations in need. As President Trump said in his address to the United Nations General Assembly in September of 2019, “Americans will also never tire of defending innocent life [...and] we in America believe that every child — born and unborn — is a sacred gift from God.” Notably, two of the largest and most-vocal organizations that have attempted to assert a global 2 right to abortion on demand , International Planned Parenthood Federation and Marie Stopes International, declined to agree to PLGHA and therefore forfeited their eligibility for global health assistance funding from the U.S. Government.

Date 
Monday, August 17, 2020 - 4:45pm

Last updated: August 18, 2020