Ron Paul's Texas Straight Talk - A weekly Column

January 26, 1998

Abortion and National Sovereignty: No Compromises

On January 22, the United States observed the 25th Anniversary of the most controversial decision of the Supreme Court this century, the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion. But the issue is more complex than simply abortion; it has become a part of almost every policy decision in our federal government. And most especially in realm of foreign relations.

Recently, there have been attempts to tie the bare-minimum pro-life "Mexico City" Policy to the issues of funding for the United Nations and the International Monetary Fund. But those attempts are now coming back to haunt those of us who believe in both the sanctity of human life and the inviolability of US sovereignty. I expect that very early in this second session of the 105th Congress, which begins Tuesday, January 27, we will see a "grand deal" struck which will see liberals "back down" from their opposition to a revised Mexico City Policy in exchange for conservative members voting to support funding of the United Nations and IMF.

The Mexico City Policy was drafted in the Reagan years as an attempt to put some limitations on US foreign aide being used for abortions overseas. While I believe that those who put this policy forward were well-motivated, I believe that time has shown this policy to have little real effect. I have continued to vote for this policy when it came up as a stand alone issue in this Congress because it is a bare minimum requirement, although, as I say, I consider it ineffective in stopping tax money from funding abortions.

I believe that the only real answer to the concerns of sovereignty, property rights, constitutionality and pro-life philosophy is for the United States to totally de-fund any foreign aide for international "family planning" programs. I introduced a resolution to that effect in 1997 and we received 154 votes in support of cutting off this unconstitutional funding program.

In fact, the deficiencies of the Mexico City Policy are such that the pro-family conservative group Concerned Women for America has withdrawn its support for the Mexico City Policy all together. This, in part, due to the fact that while the policy prohibits funding of some abortions, it does not prohibit funding of all abortions, and creates large loopholes.

Meanwhile, the United Nations and IMF are two international organizations which frequently act in a manner contrary to the sovereignty interests of the United States. As such, I have sponsored legislation to get the United States out of both of these organizations.

Currently, the most pressing battle is to stop the US from paying phony "back dues" which we supposedly "owe" this organization. Congressman Roscoe Bartlett put forward a bill to stop any payment of this phony UN debt and I proudly cosponsored Mr. Bartlett's legislation. I expect that these funding issues will be rushed to the forefront by Congressional Leaders within the next several weeks.

We were able to put the breaks to the funding of the false UN debt and the IMF at the end of the last session of Congress by linking these items with the Mexico City Policy. For political reasons President Clinton has steadfastly refused to sign any legislation which contains any anti-abortion language at all.

This linkage presented us with a short term tactical victory but its long term costs are now becoming quite apparent. In linking these two issues together an opportunity for a "deal" has become apparent, a deal which will harm the sovereignty of our nation and weaken the pro-life cause.

The plan which is now being discussed has the Republican Congress voting to approve both new IMF funding and the payment of the phony UN debt, with the President agreeing to watered-down Mexico City language. This is no bargain at all. Obviously, the Mexico City policy is riddled with holes in the first place. Moreover, it is morally repugnant to undermine our nation's integrity by trading votes in this fashion

Worse still, it now appears that conservative congressmen are willing to water the Mexico City policy down still further in order to get President Clinton to sign legislation which shouldn't exist in the first place. Thus we have Congressional leadership again backing down from President Clinton, giving in to his demand for unrestricted public funding of abortion even while compromising America's sovereignty by providing further taxpayer funds to organizations such as IMF and the United Nations.

Fortunately many conservative pro-life and pro-sovereignty groups are making it known that they do not support this so-called "compromise." I will vocally oppose any effort to pay even one more penny of US taxpayer dollars to the United Nations or IMF. Although I believe that this "grand deal" has already been struck between the leadership of Congress and the White House I believe it is incumbent upon men and women of conscience to contact their representatives and speak out against this scheme.

To date we who support the cause of life have compromised too much; it is time to stand firm. It is unconstitutional and immoral to use taxpayer dollars to fund even one abortion, whether it is foreign or domestic. And it is unconscionable that elected officials of the United States would consider using unborn children in foreign lands as pawns in a game that further undermines the best interests of the United States.