Restoring UNFPA Funding Act of 2019

On October 17, 2019, Representative Chrissy Houlahan of Pennsylvania introduced the Restoring UNFPA Funding Act of 2019 onto the House floor. The goal of the act is to reinstate American funding to the United Nation’s reproductive health and rights agency, UNFPA.

Restoring UNFPA Funding Act of 2019

This act comes after the Trump Administration announced in July 2019 that it would defund UNFPA for the third year in a row, thereby putting the lives of millions of women and girls at risk. The Trump Administration restricted funding to UNFPA based on their interpretation of the Kemp-Kasten Amendment, which denies U.S. government funding to any organization that provides information or services for abortion. UNFPA does not provide any abortion care. But, this administration has confused UNFPA’s rights-based work in China with the Chinese government’s sometimes coercive reproductive health services.  

Prior to 2017, the United States had been the third-largest donor to UNFPA overall. The U.S. was also the second-largest donor to the agency’s humanitarian response fund. Historically, the U.S. has been one of the largest donors to UNFPA since its founding in 1969. UNFPA was created to address preventable maternal deaths, harmful practices like child marriage and female genital mutilation, gender-based violence, and the unmet need for family planning. In providing care for women, girls, and youth, UNFPA accomplishes some of the work that the U.S. has deemed important to its national security. This includes “improving the status of women” and realizing the basic right to determine when, if, and with whom someone wishes to have children.  

In addition to Rep. Houlahan, Rep. Eliot Engel of New York, Rep. Nita Lowey of New York, Rep. Lois Frankel of Florida, Rep. Jackie Speier of California, Rep. Dianna DeGette of Colorado, Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, Rep. Barbara Lee of California, and Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York were all initial cosponsors of the bill.  

Restoring funding to UNFPA is essential if we want to: 

  • Prevent the deaths of the 810 women who die every day from pregnancy and childbirth complications. 
  • Provide care to the 1 in 3 women who experience gender-based violence. 
  • Realize the family planning rights of the 214 million women who wish to prevent pregnancy but who do not have access to modern contraception. 
  • Empower the 15,000,000 girls who became child brides within the last year. 
  • Care for the 200,000,000 women and girls who have survived female genital mutilation.  

Every woman, girl, and dollar counts. 

-Dana Kirkegaard

Dana Kirkegaard
You can help women and girls by filling the funding gap left by the Trump Administration. Donate today!

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