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Tue Jun 9, 2015, 12:21 AM

Conservs Ramp Up Efforts to Re-Impose the Global Gag Rule and Defund UNFPA

Guttmacher Institute

Political interference impedes effectiveness of U.S. international family planning assistance:

Social Conservatives Ramp Up Efforts to Re-Impose the Global Gag Rule and Defund UNFPA, Posing Real Obstacles to Program’s Effectiveness

Attempts by social conservatives to curb U.S. international family planning assistance by re-imposing the global gag rule and defunding the UN Population Fund are back. Considering that the U.S. Senate is more ideologically aligned with the House than in the past, it is now less certain that the Senate can be relied upon to defeat these attacks, as it has done every year since 2011 when social conservatives took control of the House and began writing these restrictions into the annual spending bill for international family planning programs.

Reinstating the global gag rule or defunding UNFPA would be devastating. And even if these anti-family planning attacks fail again, the threat of their return alone is already limiting the effectiveness of this important U.S. foreign assistance program, warns a new analysis in the Guttmacher Policy Review.

“Social conservatives in the U.S. Congress are not just antiabortion but increasingly anti-family planning,” says Guttmacher policy expert and lead author Sneha Barot. “The harmful policies these lawmakers are pursuing are based on falsehoods, and they are strongly opposed by the administration and pro-family planning members of Congress. However, the concern is that proponents of these regressive policies could force the administration to reluctantly accept one or both in the course of the inevitable political horse-trading that accompanies larger pieces of legislation.”

The U.S. effort to help women in the world’s poorest countries better plan and space their pregnancies is a tremendous foreign aid and public health success story. At a total cost of only $610 million (including $35 million for UNFPA), the program currently enables 28 million women and couples to receive contraceptive services and supplies, thereby averting six million unintended pregnancies, 2.4 million induced abortions (most of them unsafe) and 12,000 maternal deaths.

However, this effort may fall short of its potential impact depending on political interference from social conservatives in Congress. Beyond proposing deep funding cuts to the effort overall, anti-family planning lawmakers are using must-pass legislation to reinstate two harmful policies:

• The Global Gag Rule: Also known as the Mexico City Policy, it was first instituted by the Reagan administration in 1984; ...

There is no evidence that the global gag rule has ever resulted in its stated aim of reducing abortion; ...

• Defunding UNFPA: The UN Population Fund provides global leadership in a range of crucial areas, ...

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Reply Conservs Ramp Up Efforts to Re-Impose the Global Gag Rule and Defund UNFPA (Original post)
Panich52 Jun 2015 OP
Novara Jun 2015 #1

Response to Panich52 (Original post)

Tue Jun 9, 2015, 05:34 AM

1. Sigh

It's bad enough they want to use their anti-women bullshit to push us back to the dark ages, they're so damned arrogant they think the rest of the world needs to go too? Because that's what we really need, first and third world alike - overpopulation.

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