Reversing Another Obama Policy, Trump Pulls Funding for UN Population Fund
- Author: Lila Blake Apr 05, 2017,
Apr 05, 2017, 0:47
The Trump administration has announced that it will cut off usa 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 lack of clarity around the rule, however, has left aid groups scrambling and both Republican and Democratic U.S. lawmakers seeking clarity. She referred to a 2002 investigation by then-Secretary of State Colin Powell that found UNFPA was complicit with Chinese officials in coercive methods of family planning.
It is extremely concerning that the USA government has made a decision to defund the UNFPA given the agency's critical role in supporting vital maternal health and family planning services globally, including women and girls in hard to reach fragile settings.
"The money the US administration now wants to withdraw would have been spent on health care for some of the poorest and most vulnerable women and girls in the world", said International Planned Parenthood Federation director general Tewodros Melesse in a statement.
The UNFPA rejected the allegations and said it "regrets the decision" by the United States to pull the funding, which amounts to $32.5 million for the 2017 financial year.
"UNFPA refutes this claim, as all of its work promotes the human rights of individuals and couples to make their own decisions, free of coercion or discrimination", the agency said in a statement. My very first press release, in 2009, was entitled "You Are Funding Forced Abortions in China".
The Trump administration is cutting off U.S. funding to the United Nations Population Fund over concerns about abortion.
The State Department said on Monday that the UNFPA "supports or participates in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization", in a statement reported by the BBC.
For instance, he notes, over the years the agency has limited its operations in China to localities localities where the government agreed to UNFPA's pre-conditions that it eliminate birth targets and quotas. In 2016, the funding provided access to contraceptives to 800,000 people around the world and prevented an estimated 100,000 unsafe abortions and 10,000 maternal deaths, according to the organization. And he says, "UNFPA has tried to work with the Chinese on a more integrated, client-centered health approach which included education and counseling regarding informed choice and reproductive rights".
The State Department has determined that the United Nations agency falls under the "Kemp-Kasten amendment".
In a January draft executive order to cut United Nations funding, the Trump administration singled out the UNFPA and included a provision on U.S. funding for organizations that support coercive abortion or sterilization services.
"Since taking office, the Trump Administration has taken every opportunity to attack women's reproductive health and rights in the US and around the world".
Trump's order reinstating the Mexico City policy was also more expansive than past versions.