Are the “Times A’Changing” for the Peace Corps?

The Peace Corps is a federal agency and subject to Executive Orders from the White House. There are three Executive Orders, in particular, which impact Peace Corps. They are:

  1. The Executive Order to all federal agencies to reduce staff by 20%.
  2. The Executive Order to reorganize the agency.
  3. The Executive Order to eliminate  all contracts and partnerships with any organization which works with abortion providers or counsels about abortion.

Of these three, we only have specific information on the first.  FOIA 117-0166 provided the list of sunset positions and Marian Haley Beil has posted those positions.  http://peacecorpsworldwide.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Peace-Corps-Sunset-Positions.pdf 

FOIA 18-0053, submitted on February 27, 2018, requested a copy of the Peace Corps Reorganization Plan.    However, the release of the Reorganization plan has not yet been authorized. The FOIA Officer has sent this statement: “I am coordinating with the Office of Management and Budget to ensure they have no objection to its release. I hope to have the response very soon.” We will post the reorganization plan when and still if, its release is approved.

FOIA 17-0067, made this request in regard to the Executive Order to eliminate all contracts and partnerships with any organization which works with abortion providers or counsels about abortion.

“All documents describing the response of Peace Corps to the following Executive Order: 

 https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/01/23/presidential-memorandum-regarding-mexico-city-policy 

 “https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/01/23/presidential-memorandum-regarding-mexico-city-policy [i.e.,] I hereby revoke the Presidential Memorandum of January 23, 2009, for the Secretary of State and the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (Mexico City Policy and Assistance for Voluntary Population Planning), and reinstate the Presidential Memorandum of January 22, 2001, for the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (Restoration of the Mexico City Policy). I direct the Secretary of State, in coordination with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, to the extent allowable by law, to implement a plan to extend the requirements of the reinstated Memorandum to global health assistance furnished by all departments or agencies. I further direct the Secretary of State to take all necessary actions, to the extent permitted by law, to ensure that U.S. taxpayer dollars do not fund organizations or programs that support or participate in  the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization.”

The FOIA response, dated June 1, 2017, stated:

 After a thorough and diligent search of all the appropriate offices within Peace Corps, no records which are responsive to your request were found.”

We will continue to pursue this issue. It is difficult to believe that Peace Corps is exempt from this Executive Order.

Peace Corps partnership with the Global Health Seed Partership will end on September 30, 2018. The reason given was operational reasons. “http://peacecorpsworldwide.org/peace-corps-response-and-global-health-service-partnership-end-relationship-9-30-18/

A FOIA has been submitted requesting the documents describing these “operational reasons.”We will continue to post updates, if and when we receive them.  Any information would be appreciated.

Here is the Memorandum of January 22, 2001 which was reinstated by President Trump:

https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PPP-2001-book1/pdf/PPP-2001-book1-doc-pg10-2.pdf

Jan. 22 / Administration of George W. Bush, 2001

Memorandum on Restoration of the Mexico City Policy

January 22, 2001

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

Subject: Restoration of the Mexico City Policy

The Mexico City Policy announced by President Reagan in 1984 required non- governmental organizations to agree as a condition of their receipt of Federal funds that such organizations would neither per- form nor actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations. This policy was in effect until it was re- scinded on January 22, 1993.

It is my conviction that taxpayer funds should not be used to pay for abortions or advocate or actively promote abortion,

either here or abroad. It is therefore my belief that the Mexico City Policy should be restored. Accordingly, I hereby rescind the ‘‘Memorandum for the Acting Adminis- trator of the Agency for International De- velopment, Subject: AID Family Planning Grants/Mexico City Policy,’’ dated January 22, 1993, and I direct the Administrator of the United States Agency for Inter- national Development to reinstate in full all of the requirements of the Mexico City Policy in effect on January 19, 1993.

GEORGE W. BUSH

NOTE: An original was not available for verification of the content of this memo- randum.

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