Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe

Press Release | Let's set the facts straight: what the "Mexico City Policy" really is about  

ErasedBrussels, 15 March 2017

On Tuesday 14 March several Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) took the floor during a debate dedicated to the decision made by the US Administration to reintroduce the "Mexico City Policy" which cuts funding to NGOs that provide abortion services. The MEPs who expressed their regret about the american decision - which falls entirely outside the boundaries of EU competence - were speaking as if there was a right for NGOs to receive public funds... There is no right for NGOs to receive public funding. Their statements were rather based on ideological grounds than facts.

Statements of the kind above have no legal value in the EU procedures. 'Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights' remains a competence of Member States and the European Commission has repeatedly stated that “According  to  the  Treaty  of  the  European  Union  and  the  Treaty  on  the Functioning  of  the  European  Union,  the EU  has  no  competences  on  abortion  policy at  national  level  and  can  therefore  not  interfere  in  Member  States'  policies  in  this area”.

This also means that the EU should not fund abortion in third States, as declared by the Commission itself in its response to the European Citizens’ Initiative “One of Us”: “In full alignment with ICPD principles, EU development assistance does not promote abortion as a method of family planning”.

To set the facts straight the European Federation of Catholic Family Associations (FAFCE) has published a fact sheet about the Mexico City Policy. The fact sheet outlines what the Mexico City Policy implies and recalls that it is by no means a new measure. It was introduced by the Reagan Administration in 1984 and has alternately been revoked by Democrat Presidents and reinstated by Republicans.

Among others, the fact sheet recalls that:

  • The US is not reducing its budget for global health and family planning. If some organisations lose the funds they receive from the US, funds are vailable for other NGOs;
  • Not funding abortion as a method of family planning actually allows an increase of funds to other health services, such as maternal and new-born health or safe deliveries;
  • Abortion as a method of family planning is prohibited in most developing countries. If NGOs provide abortion in those countries, they are breaking the law. If they are lobbying for its legalisation, they are not using funds for “life-saving services” as they claim and funds would be better used through other NGOs that are actually providing health services.


Maria Hildingsson
+32 4 70 20 39 18 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Download this file (2017 03 08 Fact Sheet - Mexico City Policy final.pdf)2017 03 08 Fact Sheet - Mexico City Policy final.pdf[Mexico City Policy Fact Sheet]776 kB

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