Late last week the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs approved a funding bill that would be devastating to women around the world. The bill caps family planning funding at the FY2008 level of $461 million, which is 23 percent below the current level. It would also eliminate funding for the United Nations Population Fund.
The bill would also reinstate the global gag rule which intrudes on the doctor-patient relationship by prohibiting organizations in developing countries from using their own money to provide medically accurate information, referrals or services related to abortion that are legal in their country or engage in public policy debates about abortion.
These cuts would mean that:
- More than 6.5 million women and couples would lose access to contraceptive services and supplies;
- There would be 1.8 million more unintended pregnancies, including 882,000 more unplanned births;
- 882,000 more abortions would take place (of which 630,000 would be unsafe);
- 5,040 more maternal deaths would occur; and
- 25,200 more children would lose their mothers.
Make your voice heard. Tell Congress to halt the assault on international family planning!