Editorials Denounce U.S. Decision To Withhold UNFPA Funding
The Lancet: Defunding the UNFPA: sign of the times
“…The removal of support [for UNFPA] is a blow to an agency that ensures access to contraception and maternal and child health services, and fights against gender violence, child marriage, and female genital mutilation in more than 150 countries worldwide. … But the current U.S. administration’s invocation of Kemp-Kasten and its broadening of the related global gag rule appear to be a more direct attack on women’s lives and rights. … In fact, the dismay over the UNFPA defunding masks the depressing reality of the low-level and priority of health funding for women. … To follow the U.S. lead would send a message that the world does not care for women. Other countries should stridently reject this misogyny and harken support for UNFPA to continue its essential work” (4/15).
Los Angeles Times: Stop playing political football with humanitarian funding for women and children
“…[T]he U.S. decided recently to pull all of its funding for the [UNFPA] — a foolhardy and unnecessary move. The State Department invoked the Kemp-Kasten Amendment of 1985, which bars U.S. aid to any organization that the president determines supports or participates in coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization. … The U.S. rightly denounces China’s forced ‘family planning’ practices as violations of human rights. … Not only does the [UNFPA] decry such practices, it has called on China to dismantle its coercive family planning program. … Besides, none of the money the U.S. gives to the U.N. fund is allowed to be spent in China, for exactly this reason. Nor is any money from any contributor spent on elective abortions anywhere. … What’s happening is part of an ongoing battle in which the agency has been used as a political football. Since 1985, Republican administrations have invoked Kemp-Kasten to withdraw funding — or part of it — and then Democratic administrations have read the law differently and restored the funding. … There are plenty of ways for the U.S. to set funding restrictions on American dollars — without slashing away all funding from organizations working in desperately poor, badly underserved and conflict-torn areas of the world” (4/14).