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House Minority Leader McCarthy Slams Democrats for Prioritizing Taxpayer-Funded Abortion in Bill to End Shutdown

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) slammed Democrats late Thursday evening for including provisions to expand taxpayer-funded abortion in their funding measures to end the partial government shutdown.

The Democrats’ provisions would have ended President Trump’s Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance policy which blocks taxpayer funds to non-governmental organizations that perform or promote abortion overseas. The measure was an expansion of the Reagan-era Mexico City policy.

McCarthy particularly criticized Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who describes herself as a Catholic but ignores the church's teachings on abortion.

“Earlier today Speaker Pelosi quoted a prayer by Saint Francis: ‘Lord make me a channel of thy peace,’" he said in a statement. "Hours later, Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats voted to allow foreign aid money to be used to perform and promote the violence of abortion overseas."

“House Republicans fought to save pro-life protections by amending the Democrats’ bill," he added. "Sadly the Democrats thwarted our efforts. Instead of handing taxpayer money to international abortion advocates, Speaker Pelosi should heed the words of the Pope named after Saint Francis: ‘Every life counts: from the beginning to the end, from conception to natural death.’”

He called the Democrats' bill a "disaster" and pointed out that the bill also would have increased funding by $5 million to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), bringing it up to $37.5 million. President Trump previously cut off U.S. funding to UNFPA due to its participation in coercive abortion and involuntary sterilization in China.

“House Democrats are trying to force funding of abortion on an unwilling American people and unwilling foreign cultures," he said. "The Democrats’ bill also increases funding to the United Nations Population Fund, an international body that is complicit in human rights abuses such as China’s coercive family-planning policies. Simply put, this bill is a disaster for America’s reputation as a defender of freedom and human rights in the world."

The bill passed the Democrat-controlled House Thursday evening but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has refused to bring the legislation to the Senate floor and President Trump already stated he would veto it.

The White House statement promising that President Trump would veto the bill emphasized the concerns about the abortion provisions.

“It includes $700 million more than requested for the United Nations, including restoring funding for the United Nations Population Fund,” the statement noted. “The bill would also undermine the President’s Mexico City Policy (Presidential Memorandum of January 23, 2017), which prohibits the funding of foreign nongovernmental organizations that promote or perform abortions.”

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) also criticized the measure earlier Thursday.

“Apparently, Democrats in their first day as the House majority intend on pushing divisive, pro-abortion policies that would allow taxpayer dollars to flow to international organizations that promote and perform abortions,” he said in a statement.

“This is nothing more than far-left wing theater as these policies have no chance of passing the Senate or being signed by the President,” he added. 

Pro-life groups, including the Susan B. Anthony List, were also angry at the Democrats' attempt to reverse President Trump's pro-life policies.

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