As theological debates on sexuality and marriage become more and more central, many Christian denominations are being asked to clarify their views.
The Mexico City Policy blocks all funding to organisations that carry out or promote abortions. “This decision will save lives”, Christian leader Russell Moore says.
The decision to reinstate the Republican policy known as the "Mexico City Policy" or the "Global Gag Rule", came a day after the 44th anniversary of the historic decision in Roe v. Wade, which allowed legal abortion in the United States.
This executive order has been instituted by every Republican president since Ronald Reagan and rescinded with the arrival of every Democratic president to the White House.
The policy requires non-governmental organisations - including health service providers or organizations - receiving federal funding to agree to "neither perform nor actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations".
The move comes days before hundreds of thousands are expected to demonstrate against abortion in Washington on Friday for the March for Life.
REACTIONS OF CHRISTIAN LEADERS
Some US evangelical Christians have welcomed Donald Trump's reinstatement of the Mexico City Policy, stating that it fulfilled Trump's promise to be a pro-life President.
"This decision will save lives, will encourage the hundreds of thousands of men and women who will march on Washington this week for the rights of unborn children, along with millions more around the country who believe that foreign aid should promote life, not end it”, said Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.
Moore believed that "this is a welcome step in the right direction, and my hope is that the President will continue to defend human dignity and hold the predatory abortion industry accountable."
Alveda King, evangelist and niece of civil rights campaigner Martin Luther King, also praised the new President.
"Abortion kills babies and all too often harms the wombs, health, psyche and souls of mothers. By reinstating the 'Mexico City Policy' which saves the lives of thousands of babies and women, President Trump is raising the bar for genuine concern for the lives and health of mothers and our children", she pointed out.
THE HYDE AMENDMENT
One day after President Trump issued this executive order, on a vote of 238-183, the House of Representatives passed a bill that — if passed by the Senate and signed by the president — would make the Hyde amendment permanent law.
The Hyde amendment prohibits the use of taxpayer funds to pay for elective abortion procedures.
The bill was introduced by the Republican Chris Smith of New Jersey and is called the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act.” It contains exceptions for abortions for pregnancy resulting from rape and incest, as well as those that endanger the life of the mother.
“WE ARE A PRO-LIFE CONGRESS”
“We are a pro-life Congress. This legislation protects the conscience of American taxpayers by ensuring that not a single dollar of their hard-earned money goes to fund abortions”, House of Representatives speaker Paul Ryan said in a press release.
“As hundreds of thousands of Americans flock to Washington for the March for Life, we must never forget that defending all of our people, specially the defenceless, must be our top priority if we want to be a good and moral nation”, he added.