Senators Shaheen, Murray and Merkley Continue Pressing Trump Administration Over Decision to Withhold Funding for Humanitarian Crises and Women’s HealthNovember 12, 2019
Senators press Trump administration over decision to put ideology over the lives of women and children worldwide and continue withholding bipartisan funding from the UN Population Fund
Letter comes as UN Population Fund celebrates 50th anniversary, kicks off major conference in Nairobi
Senators: “The absence of these programs will put women and children who are in need of quality medical care in danger.”
Senators: “Rather than providing funding for a vital program with bipartisan support from Congress, the Trump Administration has instead made a determination with no basis in fact to advance ideological goals.”
(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pressing the Trump administration on its decision earlier this year to once again put ideology over people’s health and withhold $32.5 million in funding for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The Trump administration’s decision to slash funding to address humanitarian crises and promote the well-being of women and families worldwide comes after the Senate Appropriations Committee once again voted to fund UNFPA earlier this year. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, led the letter, which was also signed by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR).
“The absence of these programs will put women and children who are in need of quality medical care in danger,” the Senators wrote in the letter.
“Rather than providing funding for a vital program with bipartisan support from Congress, the Trump Administration has instead made a determination with no basis in fact to advance ideological goals. This will only do more harm to women in need of quality care,” the Senators continued.
The Senators’ letter comes as UNFPA celebrates its 50th anniversary this week, and on the day UNFPA kicks off a major conference in Nairobi.
Full text of the letter is available here.
The only woman on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Shaheen has been a relentless advocate for women and girls in the United States and around the world. In committee-approved funding legislation, Shaheen recently secured significant federal investments in global family planning and reproductive health. Republican leadership set a dangerous partisan precedent in blocking Senator Shaheen from offering an amendment to repeal the Mexico City Policy, also known as the Global Gag Rule, which is having a detrimental impact on family planning and health services around the world. Despite Republican obstructionism, Shaheen successfully included $665 million for international family planning and reproductive health care, including funds for the United Nations Population Fund. Shaheen also added an amendment that instructs USAID to create a first-ever mechanism to examine the charges of discrimination in response to reports that patients have been denied services. The investigation would ensure biases by the administration regarding reproductive health do not interfere or alter the delivery of services on the ground. Senator Shaheen has led bipartisan efforts in Congress to permanently repeal the Global Gag Rule.
Next Article Previous Article