Skip to Content

Presidential Document

Restoration of the Mexico City Policy

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

Memorandum of March 28, 2001

Restoration of the Mexico City Policy

Memorandum for the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development

The Mexico City Policy announced by President Reagan in 1984 required foreign nongovernmental organizations to agree as a condition of their receipt of Federal funds for family planning activities that such organizations would neither perform nor actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations. This policy was in effect until it was rescinded on January 22, 1993.

It is my conviction that taxpayer funds appropriated pursuant to the Foreign Assistance Act should not be given to foreign nongovernmental organizations that perform abortions or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations. Accordingly, I direct that, except as otherwise provided below in section III, the paragraphs set forth below be included, as specified, in the Standard Provision that was issued in Contract Information Bulletin 99-06 entitled “Voluntary Population Activities (March 1999)” for use in all new grants and cooperative agreements awarded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) that provide assistance for family planning activities.

In addition, except as otherwise provided below, these paragraphs are to be included in the Standard Provision when any existing grant or cooperative agreement for family planning activities is amended to add new funding. The FY 2000 population certification requirements issued in Contract Information Bulletin 00-04 remain in effect until September 30, 2001.

The foregoing directive accomplishes the objective of my January 22, 2001, Memorandum to the USAID Administrator—to reinstate in full all of the requirements of the Mexico City Policy in effect on January 19, 1993—and is issued pursuant to the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 104 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (22 U.S.C. 2151b).

I. Grants and Cooperative Agreements with U.S. Nongovernmental Organizations

Paragraph (e) is replaced by the following paragraphs (e) and (f), which are to be included in the Standard Provision for use in assistance agreements with United States nongovernmental organizations:

“(e) Ineligibility of Foreign Nongovernmental Organizations that Perform or Actively Promote Abortion as a Method of Family Planning. (1) The recipient agrees that is will not furnish assistance for family planning under this award to any foreign nongovernmental organization that performs or actively promotes abortion as a method of family planning in USAID-recipient countries or that provides financial support to any other foreign nongovernmental organization that conducts such activities. For purposes of this paragraph (e), a foreign nongovernmental organization is a nongovernmental organization that is not organized under the laws of any State of the United States, the District of Columbia or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.Start Printed Page 17304 (2) Prior to furnishing funds provided under this award to another nongovernmental organization organized under the laws of any State of the United States, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the recipient shall obtain the written agreement of such organization that the organization shall not furnish assistance for family planning under this award to any foreign nongovernmental organization except under the conditions and requirements that are applicable to the recipient as set forth in this paragraph (e). (3) The recipient may not furnish assistance for family planning under this award to a foreign nongovernmental organization (the subrecipient) unless: (i) The subrecipient certifies in writing that it does not perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in USAID-recipient countries and does not provide financial support to any other foreign nongovernmental organization that conducts such activities; and (ii) The recipient obtains the written agreement of the subrecipient containing the undertakings described in subparagraph (4) below. (4) Prior to furnishing assistance for family planning under this award to a subrecipient, the subrecipient must agree in writing that: (i) The subrecipient will not, while receiving assistance under this award, perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in USAID-recipient countries or provide financial support to other foreign nongovernmental organizations that conduct such activities; (ii) The recipient and authorized representatives of USAID may, at any reasonable time: (A) inspect the documents and materials maintained or prepared by the subrecipient in the usual course of its operations that describe the family planning activities of the subrecipient, including reports, brochures and service statistics; (B) observe the family planning activity conducted by the subrecipient; (C) consult with family planning personnel of the subrecipient; and (D) obtain a copy of the audited financial statement or report of the subrecipient, if there is one; (iii) In the event that the recipient or USAID has reasonable cause to believe that a subrecipient may have violated its undertaking not to perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning, the recipient shall review the family planning program of the subrecipient to determine whether a violation of the undertaking has occurred. The subrecipient shall make available to the recipient such books and records and other information as may be reasonably requested in order to conduct the review. USAID may also review the family planning program of the subrecipient under these circumstances, and USAID shall have access to such books and records and information for inspection upon request; (iv) The subrecipient shall refund to the recipient the entire amount of assistance for family planning furnished to the subrecipient under this award in the event it is determined that the certification provided by the subrecipient under subparagraph (3), above, is false;Start Printed Page 17305 (v) Assistance for family planning provided to the subrecipient under this award shall be terminated if the subrecipient violates any undertaking in the agreement required by subparagraphs (3) and (4), and the subrecipient shall refund to the recipient the value of any assistance furnished under this award that is used to perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning; and (vi) The subrecipient may furnish assistance for family planning under this award to another foreign nongovernmental organization (the sub-subrecipient) only if: (A) the sub-subrecipient certifies in writing that it does not perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in USAID-recipient countries and does not provide financial support to any other foreign nongovernmental organization that conducts such activities; and (B) the subrecipient obtains the written agreement of the sub-subrecipient that contains the same undertakings and obligations to the subrecipient as those provided by the subrecipient to the recipient as described in subparagraphs (4)(i)-(v) above. (5) Agreements with subrecipients and sub-subrecipients required under subparagraphs (3) and (4) shall contain the definitions set forth in subparagraph (10) of this paragraph (e). (6) The recipient shall be liable to USAID for a refund for a violation of any requirement of this paragraph (e) only if: (i) the recipient knowingly furnishes assistance for family planning to a subrecipient who performs or actively promotes abortion as a method of family planning; or (ii) the certification provided by a subrecipient is false and the recipient failed to make reasonable efforts to verify the validity of the certification prior to furnishing assistance to the subrecipient; or (iii) the recipient knows or has reason to know, by virtue of the monitoring which the recipient is required to perform under the terms of this award, that a subrecipient has violated any of the undertakings required under subparagraph (4) and the recipient fails to terminate assistance for family planning to the subrecipient, or fails to require the subrecipient to terminate assistance to a sub-subrecipient that violates any undertaking of the agreement required under subparagraph 4(vi), above. If the recipient finds, in exercising its monitoring responsibility under this award, that a subrecipient or sub-subrecipient receives frequent requests for the information described in subparagraph (10)(iii)(A)(II), below, the recipient shall verify that this information is being provided properly in accordance with subparagraph (10)(iii)(A)(II) and shall describe to USAID the reasons for reaching its conclusion. (7) In submitting a request to USAID for approval of a recipient's decision to furnish assistance for family planning to a subrecipient, the recipient shall include a description of the efforts made by the recipient to verify the validity of the certification provided by the subrecipient. USAID may request the recipient to make additional efforts to verify the validity of the certification. USAID will inform the recipient in writing when USAID is satisfied that reasonable efforts have been made. If USAID concludes that these efforts are reasonable within the meaning of subparagraph (6) above, the recipient shall not be liable to USAID for a refund in the event the subrecipient's certification is false unless the recipient knew the certification to be false or misrepresented to USAID the efforts made by the recipient to verify the validity of the certification.Start Printed Page 17306 (8) It is understood that USAID may make independent inquiries, in the community served by a subrecipient or sub-subrecipient, regarding whether it performs or actively promotes abortion as a method of family planning. (9) A subrecipient must provide the certification required under subparagraph (3) and a sub-subrecipient must provide the certification required under subparagraph (4)(vi) each time a new agreement is executed with the subrecipient or sub-subrecipient in furnishing assistance for family planning under the award. (10) The following definitions apply for purposes of this paragraph (e): (i) Abortion is a method of family planning when it is for the purpose of spacing births. This includes, but is not limited to, abortions performed for the physical or mental health of the mother, but does not include abortions performed if the life of the mother would be endangered if the fetus were carried to term or abortions performed following rape or incest (since abortion under these circumstances is not a family planning act). (ii) To perform abortions means to operate a facility where abortions are performed as a method of family planning. Excluded from this definition are clinics or hospitals that do not include abortion in their family planning programs. Also excluded from this definition is the treatment of injuries or illnesses caused by legal or illegal abortions, for example, post-abortion care. (iii) To actively promote abortion means for an organization to commit resources, financial or other, in a substantial or continuing effort to increase the availability or use of abortion as a method of family planning. (A) This includes, but is not limited to, the following: (I) Operating a family planning counseling service that includes, as part of the regular program, providing advice and information regarding the benefits and availability of abortion as a method of family planning; (II) Providing advice that abortion is an available option in the event other methods of family planning are not used or are not successful or encouraging women to consider abortion (passively responding to a question regarding where a safe, legal abortion may be obtained is not considered active promotion if the question is specifically asked by a woman who is already pregnant, the woman clearly states that she has already decided to have a legal abortion, and the family planning counselor reasonably believes that the ethics of the medical profession in the country requires a response regarding where it may be obtained safely); (III) Lobbying a foreign government to legalize or make available abortion as a method of family planning or lobbying such a government to continue the legality of abortion as a method of family planning; and (IV) Conducting a public information campaign in USAID-recipient countries regarding the benefits and/or availability of abortion as a method of family planning. (B) Excluded from the definition of active promotion of abortion as a method of family planning are referrals for abortion as a result of rape or incest, or if the life of the mother would be endangered if the fetus were carried to term. Also excluded from this definition is the treatment of injuries or illnesses caused by legal or illegal abortions, for example, post-abortion care.Start Printed Page 17307 (C) Action by an individual acting in the individual's capacity shall not be attributed to an organization with which the individual is associated, provided that the organization neither endorses nor provides financial support for the action and takes reasonable steps to ensure that the individual does not improperly represent that the individual is acting on behalf of the organization. (iv) To furnish assistance for family planning to a foreign nongovernmental organization means to provide financial support under this award to the family planning program of the organization, and includes the transfer of funds made available under this award or goods or services financed with such funds, but does not include the purchase of goods or services from an organization or the participation of an individual in the general training programs of the recipient, subrecipient or sub-subrecipient. (v) To control an organization means the possession of the power to direct or cause the direction of the management and policies of an organization. (11) In determining whether a foreign nongovernmental organization is eligible to be a subrecipient or sub-subrecipient of assistance for family planning under this award, the action of separate nongovernmental organizations shall not be imputed to the subrecipient or sub-subrecipient, unless, in the judgment of USAID, a separate nongovernmental organization is being used as a sham to avoid the restrictions of this paragraph (e). Separate nongovernmental organizations are those that have distinct legal existence in accordance with the laws of the countries in which they are organized. Foreign organizations that are separately organized shall not be considered separate, however, if one is controlled by the other. The recipient may request USAID's approval to treat as separate the family planning activities of two or more organizations, that would not be considered separate under the preceding sentence, if the recipient believes, and provides a written justification to USAID therefor, that the family planning activities of the organizations are sufficiently distinct so as to warrant not imputing the activity of one to the other. (12) Assistance for family planning may be furnished under this award by a recipient, subrecipient or sub-subrecipient to a foreign government event though the government includes abortion in its family planning program, provided that no assistance may be furnished in support of the abortion activity of the government and any funds transferred to the government shall be placed in a segregated account to ensure that such funds may not be used to support the abortion activity of the government. (13) The requirements of this paragraph are not applicable to child spacing assistance furnished to a foreign nongovernmental organization that is engaged primarily in providing health services if the objective of the assistance is to finance integrated health care services to mothers and children and child spacing is one of several health care services being provided by the organization as part of a larger child survival effort with the objective of reducing infant and child mortality.Start Printed Page 17308 (f) The recipient shall insert paragraphs (a), (b), (c), (d), and (f) of this provision in all subsequent subagreements and contracts involving family planning or population activities that will be supported in whole or in part from funds under this award. Paragraph (e) shall be inserted in subagreements and sub-subagreements in accordance with the terms of paragraph (e). The term subagreement means subgrants and subcooperative agreements.''

II. Grants and Cooperative Agreements with Non-U.S., Nongovernmental Organizations

Paragraph (e) is replaced by the following paragraphs (e) and (f), which are to be included in the Standard Provision for grants and cooperative agreements with non-United States, nongovernmental organizations:

“(e) Ineligibility of Foreign Nongovernmental Organizations that Perform or Actively Promote Abortion as a Method of Family Planning. (1) The recipient certifies that it does not now and will not during the term of this award perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in USAID-recipient countries or provide financial support to any other foreign nongovernmental organization that conducts such activities. For purposes of this paragraph (e), a foreign nongovernmental organization is a nongovernmental organization that is not organized under the laws of any State of the United States, the District of Columbia or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. (2) The recipient agrees that the authorized representative of USAID may, at any reasonable time: (i) inspect the documents and materials maintained or prepared by the recipient in the usual course of its operations that describe the family planning activities of the recipient, including reports, brochures and service statistics; (ii) observe the family planning activity conducted by the recipient, (iii) consult with the family planning personnel of the recipient; and (iv) obtain a copy of the audited financial statement or report of the recipient, if there is one. (3) In the event USAID has reasonable cause to believe that the recipient may have violated its undertaking not to perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning, the recipient shall make available to USAID such books and records and other information as USAID may reasonably request in order to determine whether a violation of the undertaking has occurred. (4) The recipient shall refund to USAID the entire amount of assistance for family planning furnished under this award in the event it is determined that the certification provided by the recipient under subparagraph (1), above, is false. (5) Assistance for family planning to the recipient under this award shall be terminated if the recipient violates any undertaking required by this paragraph (e), and the recipient shall refund to USAID the value of any assistance furnished under this award that is used to perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning.Start Printed Page 17309 (6) The recipient may not furnish assistance for family planning under this award to a foreign nongovernmental organization (the subrecipient) unless: (i) the subrecipient certifies in writing that it does not perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in USAID-recipient countries and does not provide financial support to any other foreign nongovernmental organization that conducts such activities; and (ii) the recipient obtains the written agreement of the subrecipient containing the undertakings described in subparagraph (7), below. (7) Prior to furnishing assistance for family planning under this award to a subrecipient, the subrecipient must agree in writing that: (1) The subrecipient will not, while receiving assistance under this award, perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in USAID-recipient countries or provide financial support to other nongovernmental organizations that conduct such activities. (ii) The recipient and authorized representatives of USAID may, at any reasonable time: (A) inspect the documents and materials maintained or prepared by the subrecipient in the usual course of its operations that describe the family planning activities of the subrecipient, including reports, brochures and service statistics; (B) observe the family planning activity conducted by the subrecipient; (C) consult with family planning personnel of the subrecipient; and (D) obtain a copy of the audited financial statement or report of the subrecipient, if there is one. (iii) In the event the recipient or USAID has reasonable cause to believe that a subrecipient may have violated its undertaking not to perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning, the recipient shall review the family planning program of the subrecipient to determine whether a violation of the undertaking has occurred. The subrecipient shall make available to the recipient such books and records and other information as may be reasonably requested in order to conduct the review. USAID may also review the family planning program of the subrecipient under these circumstances, and USAID shall have access to such books and records and information for inspection upon request. (iv) The subrecipient shall refund to the recipient the entire amount of assistance for family planning furnished to the subrecipient under this award in the event it is determined that the certification provided by the subrecipient under subparagraph (6), above, is false. (v) Assistance for family planning to the subrecipient under this award shall be terminated if the subrecipient violates any undertaking required by this paragraph (e), and the subrecipient shall refund to the recipient the value of any assistance furnished under this award that is used to perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning.Start Printed Page 17310 (vi) The subrecipient may furnish assistance for family planning under this award to another foreign nongovernmental organization (the sub-subrecipient) only if: (A) the sub-subrecipient certifies in writing that it does not perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in USAID-recipient countries and does not provide financial support to any other foreign nongovernmental organization that conducts such activities; and (B) the subrecipient obtains the written agreement of the sub-subrecipient that contains the same undertakings and obligations to the subrecipient as those provided by the subrecipient to the recipient as described in subparagraphs (7)(i)-(v), above. (8) Agreements with subrecipients and sub-subrecipients required under subparagraphs (6) and (7) shall contain the definitions set forth in subparagraph (13) of this paragraph (e). (9) The recipient shall be liable to USAID for a refund for a violation by a subrecipient relating to its certification required under subparagraph (6) or by a subrecipient or a sub-subrecipient relating to its undertakings in the agreement required under subparagraphs (6) and (7) only if: (i) the recipient knowingly furnishes assistance for family planning to a subrecipient that performs or actively promotes abortion as a method of family planning; or (ii) the certification provided by a subrecipient is false and the recipient failed to make reasonable efforts to verify the validity of the certification prior to furnishing assistance to the subrecipient; or (iii) the recipient knows or has reason to know, by virtue of the monitoring that the recipient is required to perform under the terms of this award, that a subrecipient has violated any of the undertakings required under subparagraph (7) and the recipient fails to terminate assistance for family planning to the subrecipient, or fails to require the subrecipient to terminate assistance to a sub-subrecipient that violates any undertaking of the agreement required under subparagraph 7(vi), above. If the recipient finds, in exercising its monitoring responsibility under this award, that a subrecipient or sub-subrecipient receives frequent requests for the information described in subparagraph (13)(iii)(A)(II), below, the recipient shall verify that this information is being provided properly in accordance with subparagraph 13(iii)(A)(II) and shall describe to USAID the reasons for reaching its conclusion. (10) In submitting a request to USAID for approval of a recipient's decision to furnish assistance for family planning to a subrecipient, the recipient shall include a description of the efforts made by the recipient to verify the validity of the certification provided by the subrecipient. USAID may request the recipient to make additional efforts to verify the validity of the certification. USAID will inform the recipient in writing when USAID is satisfied that reasonable efforts have been made. If USAID concludes that these efforts are reasonable within the meaning of subparagraph (9) above, the recipient shall not be liable to USAID for a refund in the event the subrecipient's certification is false unless the recipient knew the certification to be false or misrepresented to USAID the efforts made by the recipient to verify the validity of the certification. (11) It is understood that USAID may make independent inquiries, in the community served by a subrecipient or sub-subrecipient, regarding whether it performs or actively promotes abortion as a method of family planning.Start Printed Page 17311 (12) A subrecipient must provide the certification required under subparagraph (6) and a sub-subrecipient must provide the certification required under subparagraph (7)(vi) each time a new agreement is executed with the subrecipient or sub-subrecipient in furnishing assistance for family planning under this award. (13) The following definitions apply for purposes of paragraph (e): (i) Abortion is a method of family planning when it is for the purpose of spacing births. This includes, but is not limited to, abortions performed for the physical or mental health of the mother but does not include abortions performed if the life of the mother would be endangered if the fetus were carried to term or abortions performed following rape or incest (since abortion under these circumstances is not a family planning act). (ii) To perform abortions means to operate a facility where abortions are performed as a method of family planning. Excluded from this definition are clinics or hospitals that do not include abortion in their family planning programs. Also excluded from this definition is the treatment of injuries or illnesses caused by legal or illegal abortions, for example, post-abortion care. (iii) To actively promote abortion means for an organization to commit resources, financial or other, in a substantial or continuing effort to increase the availability or use of abortion as a method of family planning. (A) This includes, but is not limited to, the following: (I) Operating a family planning counseling service that includes, as part of the regular program, providing advice and information regarding the benefits and availability of abortion as a method of family planning; (II) Providing advice that abortion is an available option in the event other methods of family planning are not used or are not successful or encouraging women to consider abortion (passively responding to a question regarding where a safe, legal abortion may be obtained is not considered active promotion if the question is specifically asked by a woman who is already pregnant, the woman clearly states that she has already decided to have a legal abortion, and the family planning counselor reasonably believes that the ethics of the medical profession in the country requires a response regarding where it may be obtained safely); (III) Lobbying a foreign government to legalize or make available abortion as a method of family planning or lobbying such a government to continue the legality of abortion as a method of family planning; and (IV) Conducting a public information campaign in USAID-recipient countries regarding the benefits and/or availability of abortion as a method of family planning. (B) Excluded from the definition of active promotion of abortion as a method of family planning are referrals for abortion as a result of rape or incest or if the life of the mother would be endangered if the fetus were carried to term. Also excluded from this definition is the treatment of injuries or illnesses caused by legal or illegal abortions, for example, post-abortion care.Start Printed Page 17312 (C) Action by an individual acting in the individual's own capacity shall not be attributed to an organization with which the individual is associated, provided that the organization neither endorses nor provides financial support for the action and takes reasonable steps to ensure that the individual does not improperly represent the individual is acting on behalf of the organization. (iv) To furnish assistance for family planning to a foreign nongovernmental organization means to provide financial support under this award to the family planning program of the organization, and includes the transfer of funds made available under this award or goods or services financed with such funds, but does not include the purchase of goods or services from an organization or the participation of an individual in the general training programs of the recipient, subrecipient or sub-subrecipient. (v) To control an organization means the possession of the power to direct or cause the direction of the management and policies of an organization. (14) In determining whether a foreign nongovernmental organization is eligible to be a recipient, subrecipient or sub-subrecipient of assistance for family planning under this award, the action of separate nongovernmental organizations shall not be imputed to the recipient, subrecipient or sub-subrecipient, unless, in the judgment of USAID, a separate nongovernmental organization is being used as a sham to avoid the restrictions of this paragraph (e). Separate nongovernmental organizations are those that have distinct legal existence in accordance with the laws of the countries in which they are organized. Foreign organizations that are separately organized shall not be considered separate, however, if one is controlled by the other. The recipient may request USAID's approval to treat as separate the family planning activities of two or more organizations, which would not be considered separate under the preceding sentence, if the recipient believes, and provides a written justification to USAID therefor, that the family planning activities of the organizations are sufficiently distinct so as to warrant not imputing the activity of one of the other. (15) Assistance for family planning may be furnished under this award by a recipient, subrecipient or sub-subrecipient to a foreign government even though the government includes abortion in its family planning program, provided that no assistance may be furnished in support of the abortion activity of the government and any funds transferred to the government shall be placed in a segregated account to ensure that such funds may not be used to support the abortion activity of the government. (16) The requirements of this paragraph are not applicable to child spacing assistance furnished to a foreign nongovernmental organization that is engaged primarily in providing health services if the objective of the assistance is to finance integrated health care services to mothers and children and child spacing is one of several health care services being provided by the organization as part of a larger child survival effort with the objective of reducing infant and child mortality.Start Printed Page 17313 (f) The recipient shall insert paragraphs (a), (b), (c), (d) and (f) of this provision in all subsequent subagreements and contracts involving family planning or population activities that will be supported in whole or in part from funds under this award. Paragraph (e) shall be inserted in subagreements and sub-subagreements in accordance with the terms of paragraph (e). The term subagreements means subgrants and subcooperative agreements.”

III. Exceptions

The paragraphs set forth in sections (I) and (II) above may be omitted from the Standard Provision in the situations described below:

(1) While the paragraphs are to be used in grants and cooperative agreements (and assistance subagreements) that provide financing for family planning activity or activities, if family planning is a component of an activity involving assistance or other purposes, such as food and nutrition, health for education, paragraph (e), “Ineligibility of Foreign Nongovernmental Organizations that Perform or Actively Promote Abortion as a Method of Family Planning,” applies only to the family planning component. (2) When health or child survival funds are used to provide assistance for child spacing as well as health purposes, these paragraphs are applicable to such assistance unless: (a) the foreign nongovernmental organization is one that primarily provides health services; (b) the objective of the assistance is to finance integrated health care services to mothers and children; and (c) child spacing is one of several health care services being provided as part of a larger child survival effort with the objective of reducing infant and child mortality. These paragraphs need not be included in the assistance agreement if it indicates that assistance for child spacing will be provided only in this way. USAID support under these circumstances is considered a contribution to a health service delivery program and not to a family planning program. In such a case, these paragraphs need not be included in an assistance agreement. (3) These paragraphs need not be included in assistance agreements with United States nongovernmental organizations for family planning purposes if implementation of the activity does not involve assistance to foreign nongovernmental organizations.

You are authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.

B THE WHITE HOUSE, Washington, March 28, 2001. Filed 3-28-01; 11:42 am]

[FR Doc. 01-8011

Billing code 6116-01-M