In what is sure to be the beginning of a slew of Executive Orders and legislative initiatives with profound cultural implications, over the weekend the Mexico City Policy was reversed. During his presidency, Reagan instituted a polity whereby any foreign or international organization asking for U.S. funds could not provide or promote abortion services. The language of the current executive order contains no language about supporting abortion policy across the globe, but it doesn’t take much to understand what the vocabulary means and what the consequences are likely to be. Much of the vocabulary that supports the murder of children around the globe reads like this:
It is clear that the provisions of the Mexico City Policy are unnecessarily broad and unwarranted under current law, and for the past eight years, they have undermined efforts to promote safe and effective voluntary family planning in developing countries. For these reasons, it is right for us to rescind this policy and restore critical efforts to protect and empower women and promote global economic development.
“Family planning” in these contexts includes, and is sometimes exclusively, abortion. And how is abortion “economic development”?
In addition, I look forward to working with Congress to restore U.S. financial support for the U.N. Population Fund. By resuming funding to UNFPA, the U.S. will be joining 180 other donor nations working collaboratively to reduce poverty, improve the health of women and children, prevent HIV/AIDS and provide family planning assistance to women in 154 countries.
If we can keep the poorest around the world from having too many babies, so the logic goes, they will be wealthier. Putting the “logic” aside, we need to recognize these kinds of policies for what they are – eugenics. Eugenics is the practice of deciding who is fit to be born, live, and die. Usually it is repellant to us. But if it is couched in terms of “empowering women,” “global economic development,” and “improv[ing] the health of women and children,” who can object? What reversing the Mexico City Policy does is allow U.S. funds to be used in reducing the populations of the poorest around the globe. Apparently, if there were less of them, “global economic development” would proceed less hindered and the rest of us would be better off.
A proper Christian reaction to poverty does not – never does – include abortion. Saying that poverty is a complex and possibly insurmountable issue is an understatement. But for the Christian, it is an opportunity to give and to do. Christian churches among the poorest populations around the globe do the most good. Pentecostal churches in central Africa, for example, not only educate their city’s children, but they run effective and poverty reducing health clinics.
When Paul was commissioned by the apostles in Jerusalem, he was encouraged to remember the poor, which thing he was eager to do (Gal. 2:10). Paul then writes often to churches about the collection he will receive from them, and thanks them on behalf of the others who received their last contributions and gifts. Paul’s actions are our guides. We give what we can and we do when we can, but we never reduce the populations of people holding us back.