Memorandum on the Mexico City Policy
Memorandum for the Acting Administrator of the Agency for International Development
Subject: AID Family Planning Grants/Mexico City Policy
The Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 prohibits nongovernmental organizations ("NGO's") that receive Federal funds from using those funds "to pay for the performance of abortions as a method of family planning, or to motivate or coerce any person to practice abortions." (22 U.S.C. 215lb(f)(1)). The August 1984 announcement by President Reagan of what has become know as the "Mexico City Policy" directed the Agency for International Development ("AID") to expand this limitation and withhold AID funds from NGO's that engage in a wide range of activities, including providing advice, counseling, or information regarding abortion, or lobbying a foreign government to legalize or make abortion available. These conditions have been imposed even where an NGO uses non-AID funds for abortion-related activities.
These excessively broad anti-abortion conditions are unwarranted. I am informed that the conditions are not mandated by the Foreign Assistance Act or any other law. Moreover, they have undermined efforts to promote safe and efficacious family planning programs in foreign nations. Accordingly, I hereby direct that AID remove the conditions not explicitly mandated by the Foreign Assistance Act or any other law from all current AID grants to NGO's and exclude them from future grants.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON
William J. Clinton, Memorandum on the Mexico City Policy Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/220321