On Monday, President Donald Trump reinstated the Mexico City Policy, an international pro-life regulation that is generally seen as an indicator of an incoming president’s views on abortion.
The executive order was signed January 23, one day after the anniversary of the far-reaching Roe v. Wade decision that mandated legal abortion throughout the U.S.
Originally instituted by President Ronald Reagan in 1984, the Mexico City Policy states that foreign non-governmental organizations may not receive federal funding if they perform or promote abortions as a method of family planning.
In the years that followed, the Mexico City Policy has become emblematic of a new president’s stance on abortion. Incoming presidents generally overturn or reinstate the policy within their first week of office, symbolizing the stance that they will take on abortion issues over the course of their presidency.
President Bill Clinton overturned the policy on January 22, 1993. President George W. Bush reinstated it January 22, 2001. President Barack Obama once again rescinded it on January 23, 2009, drawing swift criticism from the Vatican.
Restoring the policy was not among Trump’s campaign promises, leading to some concern over whether he would institute the policy if elected.
Trump did make other pro-life campaign promises, including pledges to nominate pro-life Supreme Court justices; sign into law a ban on late-term abortions; defund Planned Parenthood and reallocate funding to community health centers that do not perform abortions; and make permanent a ban taxpayer funding of abortion.