Menu

Politics

First 100 Days

Obama to Lift Ban on Funding for Groups Providing Abortions Overseas

Abortion supporters

President Obama will issue an executive order on Thursday reversing the Bush administration policy that bans the use of federal dollars by non-govermental organizations that discuss or provide abortions outside of the United States.

Obama will sign the executive order on the 36th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion in all 50 states.

The policy, known in governmental circles as the "Mexico City policy," requires any non-governmental organization to agree before receiving U.S. funds that they will "neither perform nor actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations."

The language was announced at the United Nations International Conference on Population in 1984, and was approved by President Reagan and originally drafted by his assistant secretary of state, Alan Keyes

Keyes ran unsuccessfully as the GOP nominee against Obama for the U.S. Senate in 2004.

President George Herbert Walker Bush continued Reagan's Mexico City policy.

President Bill Clinton issued an executive order lifting the ban on Jan. 22, 1993. President George W. Bush issued an executive order re-instating the ban on federal dollars for NGOs that discuss or provide abortions on Jan. 22, 2001.