Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, the House Appropriations committee released the FY 2018 State and Foreign Operations bill, slashing U.S. funding for international family planning by nearly $150 million, prohibiting funding to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and codifying an expanded version of the harmful global gag rule. The move is even more shameful during a week when world leaders are meeting at the Family Planning Summit in London to double down on their commitment to invest in global women’s health.
"Around the world, we have made strides to bring down maternal mortality and prevent unintended pregnancy,” said Latanya Mapp Frett, Executive Director, Planned Parenthood Global. “This bill threatens to undermine these life-saving gains, and moves the world backwards from the progress we’ve made. We know that reducing U.S. investments in family planning will reverse those gains and put women's lives at risk. The committee perversely and ironically defends these measures as protecting life when in fact thousands of women may die in pregnancy and childbirth because of them. Hurting women ensures a vicious cycle of poverty for their families and communities, and we call on Congress to reject these harmful anti-women’s health measures included in the bill.”
The proposed cuts to international family planning funding alone is projected to result in 6.37 million fewer women and couples receiving contraception, nearly two million more unintended pregnancies, 808,000 more abortions, and nearly 3,700 more maternal deaths. The ban on U.S. support to UNFPA cuts funding to their vital work in 150 countries, where they provide reproductive and maternal health services for the most vulnerable women, especially those who are in conflict and humanitarian settings. This is yet another attack in the sustained war on women both domestic and abroad by anti-women’s health policymakers and the administration.
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.
For more than 45 years, Planned Parenthood Federation of America has supported access to sexual and reproductive health care and advocated for reproductive rights around the world through our international arm, Planned Parenthood Global. In partnership with more than 100 organizations across 12 focus countries in Africa and Latin America, we advance the health and rights of young people, women and families, with an emphasis on the most vulnerable and underserved. Last year, our partners reached over a million people with sexual and reproductive health information and services provided by our partners. Our unique sustainability model sets us apart, as we empower partners to stand on their own. We help grassroots organizations develop solid reproductive health programs, identify other sources of funding, build their communications and advocacy skills, and develop strategic plans.