UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, endeavors to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, and every young person’s potential is fulfilled. In the past, the U.S. has contributed annually to UNFPA and served on UNFPA’s Executive Board with 35 other countries. But on April 3, 2017, the Trump administration paved the way to eliminate U.S. funding to UNFPA and cut vulnerable populations around the world off from voluntary family planning, maternal health, and gender equity programs
As a principal provider of family planning services and investments in reproductive health, UNFPA’s work is directly in line with that of Planned Parenthood. UNFPA works in over 150 countries worldwide, which expands the reach of U.S. investments, and plays a critical role in providing contraceptive commodities to developing countries. UNFPA’s programs:
- enable couples to voluntarily determine the timing, number, and spacing of their children by providing access to contraceptives;
- help women deliver healthy babies and survive delivery;
- reduce the incidence of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections;
- address gender-based violence;
- help curb the frequency of child marriage; and
- reduce harmful practices such as female genital mutilation.
UNFPA promotes a human rights agenda and opposes all forms of coercion. It works to promote human rights by concretely demonstrating the advantages of the voluntary approach where individuals and couples make free and informed decisions on their reproductive lives.
In addition, UNFPA works with governments, UN agencies, and local partners, to play a leading role in responding to reproductive health needs in humanitarian crises and conflict areas, including Syria, Afghanistan, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia.
This work is both vital and lifesaving. Yet time and time again, anti-women’s health politicians in Washington have attempted to eliminate or restrict U.S. funding for UNFPA. Inconsistent U.S. support hinders UNFPA’s long-term program planning — and ultimately hurts the lives of the women, men, and young people it serves. Cuts in funding mean that needed programs end, and women are unable to access birth control and other basic health services.
U.S. support for UNFPA’s efforts that have a direct impact on improving the quality of life for some of the world’s poorest citizens advance broader U.S. global health, development, and foreign policy goals.