By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
WASHINGTON, September 12, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com)--The US Senate voted last week to resume funding to international groups that conduct abortions, rejecting the "Mexico City policy" that disallows such funding.
Although the Bush administration hasn't made a formal statement about the measure, president Bush has publicly warned the Democratic leadership in the Congress that he will veto any attempts to fund abortion.
"After witnessing their good sense on the Kemp-Kasten provision, I am extremely disheartened to see our Senators reject the Mexico City Policy," said Deirdre McQuade, a spokesman for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.Â The Kemp-Kasten provision prohibits funding to groups that force women to have abortions or sterilizations, and was approved on the same day the Mexico City policy was rejected.
The measure's principal opponent, Senator Sam Brownback, told the Associated Press that "`It's a gut-check issue about where you stand on life...where you stand on whether on not we should be using taxpayer funds for abortion".Â Brownback was also the chief proponent of the Kemp-Kasten provision.
Senator Barbara Boxer, who supported the measure, called the Mexico City policy "shameful" and offered a common "hard case" argument for abortion: "I take the case of the mother who walks into one of these clinics with a child who is the victim of rape or incest and the mother is desperate: Where can I take my child? We can't tell you because if we tell you, we are going to lose our funding." Boxer has a history of rabid support for abortion, even going so far as to oppose the US partial-birth abortion ban.
Cardinal Justin Regali, in a letter written to the Senate before the vote was taken, pointed out that "the new congressional leadership has endorsed the general consensus that Congress should work to 'reduce abortions.' Unfortunately some of the means proposed, such as expanded contraceptive programs, have been shown to be failures at achieving this goal and pose other moral problems. However, we should at least be able to agree that such efforts are hollow if programs to reduce abortion must be implemented through organizations that perform and promote abortions."
The measure, part of a $34 billion foreign aid appropriations bill (H.R. 2764), must now be approved by both the House and the Senate in a final bill negotiated between the two houses.
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Previous LifeSiteNews coverage:
US Senate Poised to Decide Future of Mexico City Policy
US Mexico City Policy Under Fire in Congress
U.S. Senate Votes to End Mexico City Policy
"In Cordibus Jesu et Mariae"