WASHINGTON — The U.S. House Committee on Appropriations today approved a budget bill that increases funding and protections for reproductive health and rights across the globe. The FY 2020 State and Foreign Operations bill would increase U.S. funding for international family planning programs, restore and increase assistance to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and fully repeal the expanded and harmful global gag rule.
As part of today’s markup, reproductive health champions defeated amendments from House Republicans that would have codified the Trump-Pence Administration's extreme global gag rule and prohibited funding for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). In the face of relentless attacks on reproductive rights, the committee delivered a clear message — policies that undermine people’s health and rights should not be exported.
Statement from Dr. Leana Wen, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
It is because of fearless champions for health and rights, like Representative Nita Lowey, that Congress is taking action to restore funding and protect individuals and families around the world. By repealing the global gag rule, this bill will help ensure that people around the world can access life-saving services, like antiretrovirals, birth control, and even basic information about reproductive health care. It is time for lawmakers to stop playing politics with women’s lives, and for Congress to end the Trump-Pence administration’s devastating global gag rule once and for all. With smart global health policy we can save lives, transform communities, and change the trajectory for generations to come.
The FY 2020 State and Foreign Operations bill includes:
The Global HER Act, which would permanently repeal the global gag rule. It also blocks current or previous funding from being used to implement this harmful policy. President Trump vastly expanded the policy rule twice, which blocks international organizations from receiving any U.S. global health assistance if they provide, counsel, refer or advocate for abortion services – even if they are doing so with separate, non-U.S. funds, and even if abortion is legal in their country.
Significant increase in funding (+$175 million above current FY19 levels) for international family planning programs, which is a sound rejection of the Trump-Pence administration’s proposed extreme funding cuts.
Restored and increased funding for the UNFPA, which provides reproductive and maternal health services in more than 150 countries, including in conflict and humanitarian settings.
In January, Planned Parenthood Global released an impact report, making clear that, due to the expanded global gag rule, people around the world are losing access to vital health education and services – from antiretrovirals for people with HIV, to nutritional support for children, to contraceptive information for women. One hundred sixty-nine diverse organizations oppose the global gag rule, including domestic and global reproductive health and justice, human rights, public health, anti-trafficking, and refugee organizations.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.