Yesterday, President Obama signed the $410 billion spending bill, which includes $50 million in funding for UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, the world’s most important agency for reproductive health. This is a welcome move for women everywhere.
By providing U.S. funding for UNFPA, President Obama will help greatly to reestablish global U.S. leadership on women’s health and human rights and our effective membership in the United Nations. The UNFPA helps to ensure that women worldwide will have access to contraception; care to prevent and treat sexually transmitted infections, including HIV; and skilled care during pregnancy and childbirth. UNFPA also promotes equality for women and works to end harmful practices such as early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation. Over the past eight years, the Bush Administration denied UNFPA $200 million for purely ideological reasons. This money could have saved 24,000 women from death in childbirth. Thank you, President Obama for taking action to ensure that women can get the sexual and reproductive health care they need to stay safe and healthy.