How Trump Defunding The UN Population Fund Will Affect Families

Apr 05, 2017, 00:48
How Trump Defunding The UN Population Fund Will Affect Families

The Trump administration has announced that it will cut off U.S. funding for the United Nations Population Fund, on the basis that the UNFPA's activities in China are complicit with that nation's coercive population control program, the implementation of which includes forced abortion and involuntary sterilisation.

A report by the Associated Press states that as a result of the end of U.S. funding of UNFPA, $32.5 million will shift to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which has the goal of reducing maternal deaths and practices such as genital mutilation. (See: http://www.cnsnews.com/blog/reggie-littlejohn/you-are-funding-forced-abortions-china ) I have consistently advocated for the defunding of UNFPA over the years, most recently just a couple of weeks ago at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.

UNFPA also vigorously pushed back against "erroneous" United States charges that it plays a role in forced abortions and sterilizations in China.

"Although less visible, the UNFPA also supports governments to carry out their national population and housing census, a critical tool in informing policymakers where to invest in schools, health services, roads and other infrastructure which makes a key difference in citizens" daily wellbeing'. The statement added that United Nations member states "have long described UNFPA's work in China as a force for good".

The UN Population Fund is financed through voluntary contributions. The State Department says the agency partners with Chinese government agencies despite China's restrictions on reproduction.

The United States, one of our founding members, has long partnered with UNFPA to protect and promote the reproductive health and rights of women and girls, thereby fostering healthier women and girls and their families.

It comes after Mr Trump in January reinstated the so-called Mexico City Policy that withholds USA funding for global organisations that perform abortions or provide information about abortion. Like the gag rule, the UNFPA has been a frequent target of Republican presidential administrations.

"The U.N. Population Fund has been complicit in China's one-child policy from the first, not merely turning a blind eye to abuses, but facilitating them in various ways."

The cut follows Trump's proposed 28 percent budget reduction for diplomacy and foreign aid, including an unspecified reduction in financial support for the United Nations and its agencies, announced last month.

With the support of the USA, past year UNFPA says it was able to save the lives of thousands of women from dying during pregnancy and childbirth, prevent unintended pregnancies, and unsafe abortions.

According to the Guardian, the state department explained in a letter that it was halting the country's funds because UNFPA "supports, or participates in the management of, a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization". No one should applaud China's announced "two-child" policy; instead we should be insisting they abolish intrusive and abusive birth restrictions forever.

At the time, Trump also set up plans to begin defunding UNFPA by directing the Secretary of State to implement a plan that expands the policy across all global health assistance funding.

The International Women's Health Coalition said in a statement that the Trump administration's decision was 'a major blow to the world's most important agency for reproductive health'.

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