Important Pro-Life Victory Follows Heritage’s Policy Recommendations


Important Pro-Life Victory Follows Heritage’s Policy Recommendations

Nov 8, 2019

Heritage members and the pro-life movement scored a major victory recently when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., made a legislative decision that fell directly in line with years of Heritage Foundation policy recommendations to Congress.

McConnell removed an amendment from a recent appropriations bill that would have undermined the Trump administration’s “Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance” policy, just one day before the Senate was set to vote on the bill.The “Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance” policy is the Trump administration’s reinstatement of the Reagan-era Mexico City Policy, which prevents the government from giving taxpayer dollars to organizations that promote or perform abortions outside the United States.

The Heritage Foundation’s DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society has called for Congress to permanently codify the Trump administration’s 2017 iteration of the Mexico City Policy to disentangle U.S. funding from abortion activity abroad.

An amendment introduced Sen. Jeanne Shaheen D-N.H., would have provided $665 million in federal funding for "family planning and reproductive health care" to pro-abortion organizations around the world. At the same time, it would have hindered the Trump administration’s efforts to expand USAID funding to pro-life and faith-based groups, including faith-based charity agencies that hold to a traditional, biblical view of marriage.

Heritage has long advocated for Congress to strip existing federal funding for abortions and say no to new federal funding for pro-abortion organizations.

Heritage’s Andrea Jones, a DeVos Center research assistant, published analysis exposing the Shaheen amendment as a liberal effort to add a “poison pill” to an upcoming bill. Jones exhorted Congress to “uphold its end of the bargain made with the White House last summer,” which forbade funding for abortion-promoting groups, radical redefinition of marriage and gender, and shady attempts to undermine existing pro-life policies and protections for faith-based organizations.”

The DeVos Center has also made detailed policy recommendations to Congress over the past three years, helping reject radical pro-abortion policies and any attempts to weaken pro-life protections in current law. The Shaheen amendment would have done both.

Heritage Action for America helped raise awareness of the Shaheen amendment. Heritage Action issued a public statement calling on senators to reject the amendment, saying it “violates the bipartisan budget agreement by directing funds to abortion providers and population-control initiatives, effectively propping up the abortion industry with federal funds.”

Heritage Action alerted its 20,000-strong Sentinel activist network across the country, urging them to call their senators in opposition.

Senators listened—both to years of Heritage research and to our hundreds of thousands of dedicated members.