Some of America's biggest pro-life organizations are praising the Trump administration for a huge expansion in protections for the unborn worldwide through an order Monday that amplified the Mexico City policy.
The policy, which Trump reinstated just about as soon as he became president, banned the expenditure of U.S. tax funds for international programs that provide abortion.
It had been eliminated by President Obama.
On Monday, the State Department confirmed a new ban on U.S. funding for organizations that perform or promote abortion overseas as a method of family planning.
The new policy states: "The United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child (1959) calls for legal protection for children before birth as well as after birth. In keeping with this obligation, the United States does not consider abortion an acceptable element of family planning programs and will no longer contribute to those of which it is a part. Accordingly, when dealing with nations that support abortion with funds not provided by the United States Government, the United States will contribute to such nations through segregated accounts that cannot be used for abortion."
"Today we celebrate a significant step to make the womb a safe place again," said Mat Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel. "President Trump has now turned off the spigot of taxpayer funding for abortions outside of the United States. We cannot reverse the deaths of millions of innocent children, but we can reverse the tragic flow of money that funds human genocide."
The Mexico City Policy came originally from President Reagan in 1984. It required nongovernmental organizations to agree that they "would neither perform nor actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations" before receiving any federal funding.
Obama funneled money to groups overseas such as the International Planned Parenthood Federation and Marie Stopes International for their foreign efforts.
The International Planned Parenthood Federation reported its affiliates ended the lives of nearly 1 million unborn children in 2015 alone and claimed to have provided 16.8 million abortion-related services over the past five years.
In a statement, the Family Research Council explained the newest move.
"Some of you are thinking. Didn't the president already reinstate [the Mexico City policy]? He did – back in January. But this morning, the White House took a giant leap forward, outdoing Presidents Bush and even Reagan with the actual implementation of the rule. In a policy dating back to every Republican administration since Ronald Reagan's, Trump continued the tradition of blocking even a single U.S. cent from going to any foreign group that performs or promotes abortion as ‘family planning' overseas. But unlike other administrations, this White House is significantly expanding how and where the rule is applied."
FRC said that in what the president is calling the "Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance" policy, the administration is "multiplying the impact well beyond the Department of State."
"For the first time ever, the White House isn't just bringing $600 million in taxpayer funding under the authority of the pro-life rule, but $8.8 billion from the Departments of State, Health and Human Services, and Defense. That's almost 15 times more money flowing through the abortion ban than President Bush's policy!"
Trump's specific order was: "I direct the Secretary of State, in coordination with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, to the extent allowable by law, to implement a plan to extend the requirements of the reinstated Memorandum to global health assistance furnished by all departments or agencies… I further direct the Secretary of State to take all necessary actions, to the extent permitted by law, to ensure that U.S. taxpayer dollars do not fund organizations or programs that support or participate in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization."
Said FRC: "Talk about making an immediate impact! There's no telling how many thousands of unborn lives this policy will save simply because Donald Trump dared to step out and do what 83 percent of Americans wanted: end taxpayer funding of overseas abortion groups."
Marjorie Dannenfelser of the SBA List pro-life organization said the expansion means "our country has officially ceased exporting abortion to foreign nations through the funding of abortionists."
"This policy will directly affect organizations such as Marie Stopes International, which under the Obama administration, received taxpayer funding for HIV/AIDS, material and child health, and family planning. Marie Stopes says that abortion is at the core of their mission, and that they hope to double their abortion services by 2020. Their staff has been caught on tape boasting about conducting illegal abortions around the world. In addition, their United Kingdom branch was recently forced to temporarily suspend abortion services due to serious safety concerns," she continued.
"Thanks to the Trump administration's action today, lives will be saved."
Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee, said Obama's policies "hijacked" U.S. foreign aid "to promote abortion worldwide."
"We commend President Trump and his appointees for taking steps to ensure that U.S. taxpayer funds are directed through organizations that work to preserve human life, not to take it."
The group explained U.S. aid still will go overseas, but when an organization is found to have "an ideological commitment to promoting abortion," the funds will be redirected to other groups that comply with U.S. requirements.
WND reported when the Trump administration rejected continued funding for the U.N. Population Fund, which funds forced abortions in China and other nations.
Reggie Littlejohn, founder and president of Women's Rights Without Frontiers, said that while China now has a two-child policy, instead of one-child, it still practices forced abortion.
"We are thrilled that the U.S. is no longer funding forced abortion and involuntary sterilization in China," Littlejohn said. "The blood of Chinese women and babies is no longer on our hands. My very first press release, in 2009, was entitled ‘You Are Funding Forced Abortions in China.' I have consistently advocated for the defunding of UNFPA over the years, most recently just a couple of weeks ago at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women."
Her campaign made little headway under President Obama because of his ardent support for abortion at any time and at taxpayer expense.
As a state senator in Illinois, Obama even opposed requiring doctors to offer emergency help to infants who survive an abortion procedure.