Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said that September 4, 1997 was “a sad day for women.” On that day, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a $12.3 million foreign aid bill including the Smith amendment, a measure that eliminates U.S. financial aid to international family planning organizations that practice or advocate abortion. Pelosi, who sponsored a narrowly defeated alternative amendment that would have preserved funding for organizations that pay for abortion services with private funds, says of the Smith measure, “It means more unplanned pregnancies, more abortions, exploding populations and exploding poverty.”
In July, the Senate passed a $13.2 billion foreign aid bill that did not include the Smith admendment. Senators have deemed this abortion measure “veto bait.” The House and Senate will have to agree on a single bill before the legislation is sent to President Clinton for approval. President Clinton has vowed to veto any legislation that restricts family planning activities.