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Planned Parenthood Strongly Opposes Bill That Would Cut and Restrict International Family Planning Funding
Later today, the House Appropriations Committee will debate a fiscal year 2013 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill that would drastically slash funds for reproductive health care while maintaining support for other areas of global health.
The bill proposes $149 million in funding cuts for international family planning, which would result in nearly eight million fewer women being able to access birth control, 745,000 more unsafe abortions, and nearly 6,000 more maternal deaths, according to recent Guttmacher Institute analysis.
“This bill would harm women around the world. The United States should lead on global family planning, not undermine it,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
Additionally, the bill would end U.S. contributions to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), eliminating U.S. support for family planning and maternal health care in some of the world’s poorest countries. The bill would also resurrect a Reagan-era funding restriction known as the global gag rule. Under this prohibition, no U.S. family planning assistance funding can be given to organizations that provide abortion services, offer counseling and referrals for abortion care, or advocate legal abortion access in their own countries — even if they do so with their own funds.
A report released yesterday by the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), UNFPA, and the World Bank found that worldwide, maternal deaths are on the decline. The report showed a nearly 50 percent reduction in pregnancy-related death over the last 20 years.
“Fewer women are dying today because we know what works,” said Richards. “Now is not the time to walk away from reproductive health care and put politics before women’s health. If we want to see continued progress on global health for women, we must make women’s access to birth control and STD prevention a top priority.”