U.S. House Panel Rebuffs Bush on Abortion

WASHINGTON, D.C., MAY 2, 2001 (Zenit.org).- The U.S. House International Relations Committee approved a measure that would overturn the ban on aiding foreign organizations that discuss abortion with their clients or advocate abortion, the Associated Press reported.

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The 26-22 vote saw three Republicans side with unanimous Democrats to add the provision to the $8.2 billion State Department authorization bill for 2002. It would upset the order that President George W. Bush imposed as his first act after taking office.

“This issue, in our view, is a freedom of speech issue, not an abortion issue,´´ Rep. Tom Lantos of California, the committee´s top Democrat. Committee Chairman Henry Hyde, an Illinois Republican, who has opposed abortion for decades, denounced the measure, saying, “Don´t exterminate unborn children.”

Both Republicans and Democrats indicated the full House might pass the authorization bill with the amendment intact.

The limits on foreign aid are referred to as the “Mexico City policy” because President Ronald Reagan first announced his plans to implement the strategy at a 1984 population conference there.

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