U.S. House Backs Ban on Overseas Abortion-Aid

Bishops´ Spokeswoman Praises the Vote

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WASHINGTON, D.C., MAY 16, 2001 (Zenit.org).- A spokeswoman for the U.S. bishops praised a House vote today to continue the so-called Mexico City policy. The policy withholds American tax dollars from overseas groups that perform or promote abortions.

The House provision, which passed 218-210, was attached to an $8.2 billion State Department reauthorization bill still being debated. Thirty-two Democrats joined Republicans in approving the abortion-aid ban; 33 Republicans voted against it.

«This is an important step for our nation in building a culture of life,» said Cathleen Cleaver, a pro-life activities spokeswoman at the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.

«When poor women overseas cry out for help,» she said in a statement, «we will no longer respond with abortion. Rather, the U.S. government will respect their dignity and humanity by addressing their real needs.»

President George W. Bush implemented the abortion-aid ban by executive order during his first week in office.

Last month, the House of Representatives voted to make it illegal to harm a fetus while committing a crime against a pregnant woman. The evenly divided Senate has yet to take up any of the abortion measures.

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