This is the fourth entry in a series on FOCA by Stealth by AUL Vice President of Legal Affairs, Denise M. Burke. The entire article from which this series is taken is available at Beware of “FOCA-By-Stealth”: Radical Abortion-on-Demand Agenda Being Implemented Piecemeal.
American Presidents have issued Executive Orders since 1789; most of these orders have set the policies of executive departments or otherwise directed the activities of Executive Branch officials. Because they are an efficient and effective means for the Administration to unilaterally further its policy goals, Executive Orders have often been controversial. Just days into his term, President Obama made use of an Executive Order to further FOCA-by-Stealth.
On January 23, 2009—just three days after his inauguration—President Obama signed an Executive Order to repeal the Mexico City Policy prohibiting U.S. taxpayer funding of international family planning programs that promote and perform abortions overseas. Among the groups denied funding under this former policy was the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), the parent organization of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (more commonly known as “Planned Parenthood”).
In a statement released the next day, President Obama blithely ignored the mounting evidence of abortion’s negative impact on women and the fact that this funding is often used by groups such as IPPF to force abortion on unwilling nations and cultures. Instead, he couched his action in terms of its potential economic impact and his desire to end the “culture war” over abortion, stating:
It is right for us to rescind this policy and restore critical efforts to protect and empower women and promote global economic development. For too long, international family planning assistance has been used as a political wedge issue, the subject of a back and forth debate that has served only to divide us. I have no desire to continue this stale and fruitless debate.
This statement is eerily reminiscent of then-Presidential candidate Obama’s speech to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund in July 2007, when he told cheering abortion supporters he remains “absolutely convinced that culture wars are so nineties,” and it is “time to turn the page” since he and other abortion supporters are “tired about arguing about the same ole’ stuff.”
Not coincidentally, in this same speech he also promised “[o]n this fundamental issue [abortion], I will not yield,” and the “first thing” he would do as President was “sign the ‘Freedom of Choice Act’.”