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Sens. Cruz, Risch, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Expand Prohibitions on Use of Foreign Assistance Funding for Abortions

February 8, 2021

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202-228-7561

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) introduced 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.

Upon introduction, Sen. Cruz said:

"The Biden administration wasted no time channeling the money of American taxpayers toward the murder of unborn children by international organizations, including some that work with the Chinese Communist Party, which engages in systematic forced abortions as part of its campaign of genocide against the Uyghurs in Xinjiang. This bill is an important part of the critical effort in Congress to mitigate and reverse those Biden administration policies."

Sen. Risch said:

"For decades, Congress has worked to ensure that U.S. foreign assistance would not be used to perform or promote abortion services. Unfortunately, pro-abortion groups have set their sights on exploiting loopholes and even overturning the long-standing pro-life provisions of law that have provided a solid foundation for values-based U.S. foreign assistance," said Risch. "It is time for Congress to take decisive action and eliminate any ambiguity about how these provisions are meant to be applied, and so I'm proud to introduce the American Values Act to make them permanent in U.S. law."

Sen. Rubio said:

"U.S. foreign assistance is a critical tool of our national security and should not, in any way, go towards abortion or the promotion of abortion overseas. I'm proud to join Ranking Member Risch and my Republican colleagues in introducing this bill and I remain committed to ensuring that the taxpayer dollars of hard working Americans are never spent on abortions at home or overseas."

Sen. Young added:

"The progressive left is working to enact their agenda at every possible opportunity. With the number of challenges facing our nation, we must make sure that our foreign assistance dollars are being well spent. Unfortunately, pro-abortion groups are hard at work trying to hijack those tax dollars not to protect our nation, but to perform or promote abortions around the world. This proposal would end attempts to trick the system and help ensure foreign assistance funding will go to those in need - not be used for abortion services overseas."

BACKGROUND

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.

Read the full text of the American Values Act here.

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