US: No More Funding for UN Population Fund

Group's supposed support of 'coercive abortion' in China cost it: State Dept.
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 4, 2017 4:16 PM CDT
US: No More Funding for UN Population Fund
Students listen on the correct use of a contraceptive at a booth at the United Nations Population Fund to mark World Population Day in a suburb northeast of Manila in the Philippines on July 11, 2014.   (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

Just days after he took office in January, President Trump put back in place the "Mexico City policy" that keeps federal funds from being funneled to international aid organizations that provide abortions, or even info about them. Now the United States has officially yanked US donations from the United Nations Population Fund (aka UNFPA), the arm of the UN that offers family-planning services in more than 150 nations, Reuters reports. The BBC notes that $32.5 million that was set to be allotted for 2017 will be rescinded, with a Monday letter from the State Department saying the withdrawal of the funds is because UNFPA "supports, or participates in the management of, a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization" in China.

The US is one of UNFPA's largest benefactors, coming in fourth for 2015 with just over $75,000 in combined core and earmarked contributions. UNFPA—which relies on voluntary donations from global governments to provide its services, which include those for maternal and child health—put out a Tuesday statement noting the US decision was based on an "erroneous claim" about the group's work, which it says lets "individuals and couples ... make their own decisions, free of coercion or discrimination." The State Department letter says the money will be reallocated to the Global Health Programs account, where it will reportedly be put toward family planning, maternal health, and reproductive health in developing countries. The AP notes the UNFPA fund has traditionally seen the ax whenever the GOP is in the White House; Dems reinstate it when they take back control. (More United Nations stories.)

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