House Committee Slashes International Family Planning

The GOP Controlled House Appropriations Committee expanded the war on women globally yesterday. The committee slashed international family planning funding by $149 million, or 25%, reinstated the Global Gag Rule, and banned all US funding to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

Nita Lowey (D-NY), Ranking Democratin the Committee, summed up the damage of the Committee’s actions:

The counterproductive, harmful, and unnecessarily divisive cuts and policy riders…on international family planning programs will leave millions of women without access to critical and often life-saving health services, and will result in 1.4 million more abortions next year. It is unconscionable that the majority insists on including these provisions, which run counter to our shared goals of saving mothers’ and children’s lives, and reducing unwanted pregnancies and abortions.

The Committee rejected on largely party-line votes three pro-family planning and reproductive health amendments that were offered by Lowey, Rosa DeLaura (D-CA), and Barbara Lee (D-CA), in an attempt to reverse the bill’s attacks on women’s health programs.

The Senate Appropriations Committee, which is scheduled to take up its version of a FY 2013 State Department-Foreign Operations bill next week, is expected to pass a bill that includes significant increases to international family funding, a permanent repeal of the Global Gag Rule, and a U.S. contribution to UNFPA.

The Guttmacher Institute analysis indicates that the House cuts to international family planning funding would result in 7.7 million fewer women and couples receiving contraceptive services and supplies, 2.2 million more unintended pregnancies, and over 1 million more abortions.

Media Resources: PAI Analysis; Friends of UNFPA Press Release 5/17/2012

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