Rule Expanding Pro-Life ‘Mexico City Policy’ to Gov’t Contracts Proposed by DoD, GSA, NASA

By Craig Bannister | September 14, 2020 | 4:21pm EDT
(Getty Images/Jason Connolly)

The Department of Defense, General Services Administration and NASA are proposing to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to implement the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance policy in connection with the 2017 Presidential Memorandum regarding “The Mexico City Policy,” extending President Trump’s expanded Mexico City Policy to contracts and subcontracts receiving global health assistance funding.

The deadline for submitting written comments to be considered in the formation of the final rule is November 13, 2020, according to the proposed rule posted in The Federal Register on Monday.

The new rule would apply to both new and existing contracts that receive any global health assistance aid, the proposal notes:

“For contracts, this rule proposes to include a new clause entitled ‘Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance’ in applicable contracts and subcontracts funded partially or wholly with global health assistance funding. The PLGHA implementation plan directs Federal agencies to take appropriate steps to apply the policy to new contracts; the plan would also apply to existing contracts, to the extent practicable, when modified to add funding.”


“No U.S. taxpayer money should support foreign organizations that perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations.”

While the current Mexico City Policy applies only to grants and cooperative agreements between the U.S. government and foreign organizations, the new rule also apply to any foreign organizations with contracts that receive global health aid, even if that aid is provided by other than the U.S. government.

As has reported, President Donald Trump reinstated the current policy soon after taking office in 2017:

“The president, on his third day in office, reinstated the policy, which requires non-governmental organizations (NGOs) receiving federal funding to certify that they are not carrying out or promoting abortion – even using funds from other donors.”

“Under previous Republican administrations, the policy applied only to funds under the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) family planning program – about $600 million a year in recent years.

“Under the newly expanded plan approved by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, however, it will cover all foreign health assistance that is appropriated to the State Department, USAID and the Defense Department, amounting to around $8.8 billion.”

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