On Monday, the Trump administration released a proposed expansion of the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance (PLGHA) policy to include contracts with foreign groups receiving U.S. aid. Foreign groups and organizations receiving global health aid through contracts involving U.S. funds would have to agree not to provide or promote abortions—even if those organizations receive funding from other sources.

“We thank President Trump and his administration for preventing taxpayer funds from being used to pay for abortions around the globe,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “American taxpayers should not be coerced into participating in abortions.”

Under the current PLGHA program, in order to be eligible for U.S. population assistance, a private organization must sign a contract promising not to perform abortions (except to save the mother’s life or in cases of rape or incest), not to lobby to change the abortion laws of host countries, or otherwise “actively promote abortion as a method of family planning.”

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The most important characteristic of the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance policy is that it establishes an eligibility criterion for U.S. funding: If a group is unwilling to agree to avoid promotion of abortion, that group will not receive any type of U.S. support. In short, the PLGHA policy is not about how an organization keeps its books. Rather, it is about the type of groups the United States is going to support with taxpayer funds. If a specific organization declines to accept the policy, then the same funds are channeled to other organizations that agree to the terms of the contract. There is, therefore, no overall reduction in funding for family planning programs resulting from the policy.

“This proposed expansion would prevent taxpayer funds from being used to bankroll the deaths of unborn children around the world,” said Tobias.

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