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Risch, Senate Colleagues Reintroduce Bill to Expand Prohibitions on Use of Foreign Assistance Funding for Abortions

by | Feb 1, 2023

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) on Tuesday reintroduced the American Values Act , legislation to permanently enact and expand existing prohibitions on the use of U.S. foreign assistance to pay for the performance or promotion of abortion services overseas.

“U.S. foreign assistance should never be used to perform or promote abortion services. Unfortunately, pro-abortion groups continuously work to exploit loopholes and even overturn long-standing pro-life provisions of law that have provided a solid foundation for values-based U.S. foreign assistance,” said Risch. “I’m proud to reintroduce the American Values Act to eliminate any ambiguity about how foreign assistance provisions are meant to be applied.”

“American taxpayers should never be exploited to fund abortions abroad. I’m proud to join Ranking Member Risch and my Senate colleagues in introducing this bill to clarify and prevent any further capitalization upon unintentional loopholes by pro-abortion groups,” said Cruz.

“U.S. taxpayer-supported activities overseas should reflect the interests and values of all Americans, not the views of a narrow, progressive elite that believe the murder of innocent babies is somehow justified. As the radical left actively work to find loopholes in existing laws, it is our moral duty to defend and protect life,” said Rubio.

“Innocent life – both in America and around the world – must be protected at every stage. Unfortunately, pro-abortion groups are working hard to hijack taxpayer dollars intended for U.S. foreign assistance to instead be used to perform or promote abortions internationally. In addition to defending the sanctity of life on the global stage, the American Values Act would end attempts to manipulate the system and ensure that our foreign assistance dollars are being well spent,” said Young.

“As the right to life is the most fundamental human right of all, I strongly oppose sending U.S. taxpayer dollars overseas to promote or perform abortion,” said Hagerty. “I’m pleased once again to support the American Values Act that seeks to close loopholes and uphold pro-life values in U.S. diplomacy and development by placing permanent restrictions on the use of U.S. foreign assistance to fund abortions and involuntary sterilizations.”

“The Biden administration’s use of American taxpayer dollars to fund and promote abortion providers overseas proves once again that Democrats are the extremists when it comes to abortion. U.S. foreign assistance should be used as a national security tool, not as a way for the left to export their agenda. I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing legislation that ensures U.S. taxpayer dollars will never be used to fund abortions overseas,” said Johnson.

“Americans should never be forced to pay for on-demand abortions – let alone worldwide. Our legislation puts an end to radical, pro-abortion groups hijacking taxpayer dollars meant for U.S. foreign assistance,” said Barrasso. “We must make sure every child in our country and around the world has an opportunity to succeed. That starts with protecting the unborn and the right to life.”

If enacted, this legislation would:

  • Clarify that existing prohibitions on the use of U.S. foreign assistance to pay for the performance or promotion of abortions, forced sterilizations, or biomedical research relating to abortions or forced sterilizations shall apply to all assistance under the Foreign Assistance Act;
  • Permanently enact long-standing appropriations restrictions on the use of foreign assistance funds to lobby for or against abortion;
  • Permanently enact long-standing appropriations restrictions on the provision of foreign assistance funds to organizations that support or participate in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization; and
  • Permanently enact long-standing appropriations restrictions on the use of funds made available to the Peace Corps to pay for abortions.