Members of Congress are planning an attack on women's health in developing countries. Politicians with an ideological view of family planning are now trying to cut funding for contraception, reinstate the Global Gag Rule and ban funding for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
President Obama overturned the harmful Global Gag Rule, which severely limits access to family planning services in developing countries. President Obama and our Congressional champions also worked hard to increase support for U.S. international family planning and the UNFPA. This funding accounts for a fraction of 1 percent of our budget and saves hundreds of thousands of lives.
The vast majority of Americans, from both sides of the aisle, support family planning. Tell President Obama and the Senate to continue to stand up against the Global Gag Rule and for international family planning programs!
I strongly support the U.S. investment in international family planning programs and I appreciate your steadfast leadership on these issues. Please ensure that these programs are not subjected to disproportionate, ideologically-driven funding cuts or new policy restrictions in the fiscal year 2011 spending bill.
I am deeply concerned that a House-passed spending bill (H.R. 1) cut over $200 million in funding for these critical programs. The bill also reinstated the Global Gag Rule and banned funding to the United Nations Population Fund.
Allowing these harmful funding cuts and policy restrictions to move forward would have devastating consequences. There are at least 215 million women in developing countries who would like to avoid pregnancy, but do not have access to contraceptives. Cutting international family planning funding prevents us from meeting the needs of these women. It also undermines efforts to lower maternal mortality rates, reduce unintended pregnancies, and improve the health and lives of women and their communities.
In addition, reinstating the Global Gag Rule and banning funding to UNFPA denies funding to some of the most experienced, effective and respected providers of family planning services in the developing world. These cuts and restrictions won’t reduce the deficit – they will only threaten the health of poor women and their families.
Please stand up for women and families -- support strong and effective funding for international family planning programs and reject any efforts to reinstate the Global Gag Rule or other damaging policy restrictions.
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