Obama to Restore UNFPA Funding, Says Congresswoman Maloney

To the tune of a missing $43 million for each of his seven years in office, President Bush has denied funding to UNFPA, the UN agency responsible for global family planning programs. At the launch of UNFPA’s annual State of the World report, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, a longtime advocate of international women’s health, told reporters that President-Elect Obama will restore UNFPA funding. "We are about to see major cultural change in Washington," Maloney said, "One big change is that UNFPA will be funded."

The Bush administration has insisted that the US cannot fund UNFPA because the agency supports coercive family planning practices in China. Multiple investigations have found no connection.

Add this to a repeal of the global gag rule to a list of actions Obama could take early in his administration that would will change the lives of women around the world. 
to the advocacy group Americans for UNFPA
, had the U.S. honored
its obligations to UNFPA, its contributions could have prevented 294,000
maternal deaths and would have allowed 82 million women to delay pregnancy.

UNFPA’s State of the World report focuses closely on the way in which inequalities between women and men worldwide impinge social and economic development. The report reminds us that women are particularly marginalized by drastic worldwide economic disparities:

  • Of the world’s one billion poorest people, three fifths are women and girls.
  • Of the 960 million adults in the world who cannot read, two thirds are women.
  • Seventy per cent of the 130 million children who are out of school are girls.
  • Up to half of all adult women have experienced violence at the hands of their intimate partners.

Maloney pointed that Congress has signaled its support for UNFPA more than once. "Six times under Bush, the House of Representatives and the Senate
passed funding to continue the critical work of the UNFPA," Maloney said. "President Obama will have to do nothing but let the will of Congress go through." Indeed, in July, I reported that Congress allocated record funding levels to international family planning programs and to UNFPA in particular, with the House bill including a provision that would prevent future presidential administrations from blocking funds to UNFPA.  Bush vetoed the bill.

The UNFPA report includes a series of excellent videos on women’s health and rights worldwide. Check out this introductory video:

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  • http://www.sonyahaskins.com invalid-0

    You stated that, “Multiple investigations have found no connection” between the UNFPA and coercive family “planning” (forced abortions and birth control) in China. This is not true.

    According to the Population Research Institute, which would have no reason to create biased reports, in Sihui county,
    “Coercive family planning policies in Sihui include: age requirements for pregnancy; birth permits; mandatory use of IUDs; mandatory sterilization; crippling fines for non-compliance; imprisonment for non-compliance; destruction of homes and property for non-compliance; forced abortion and forced sterilization.”

    In the Fujian Province, there is:
    “Mandatory registration of child within one month after birth of child, punishable with forced sterilization for non-compliance. Forced abortion, forced sterilization and 10,000 yuan fine for pregnancy before age 20.”

    In Xinjiang, families report:
    “Forced abortion and forced sterilization under imprisonment.”

    I think it’s important to get your facts straight in in my opinion, the reporters on your website do not. They are very biased in their reporting and do not disclose all the facts to the women they are supposedly supporting. When you withold information – especially accurate information – you are NOT enabling or empowering women. You are keeping them in chains. If we continue on the same path we are headed today with the “rights” you and others like you seem to want, we will have these same sort of child-enforcement policies in the United States. How does that help women?

    For more information and to view the full report about the abuses in China that led to the removal of UNFPA funding, visit http://www.pop.org/main.cfm?EID=312.

    Sonya Haskins

  • invalid-0

    The “Population Research Institute” would have every reason to come up with biased information; despite its seemingly innocuous name, its nothing more than a front for rabid American pro-lifers. Despite their non-existent authority on population matters, they claim that they are singlehandedly responsible for almost a billion dollars in population control funding, a dubious victory (of which there not even really responsible for).

    As it is, its a moot issue. The Global Gag Rule will be rescinded, funding will be restored, and the onerous rules of PEPFAR requiring no support for prostitutes and focusing on abstinence only will be relics.