Anti-United Nations Population Fund Amendment Defeated in Senate
An amendment to the 2009 fiscal year omnibus spending bill currently under debate that would have removed funds designated for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) from the bill was defeated yesterday. The bill was rejected in a near party-line vote with the Republican Senators Snowe (ME), Specter (PA), and Collins (ME) voting against the amendment and Democratic Senators Bayh (IN), Nelson (NE), and Casey (PA) voting for the amendment.
Bush-era withholding of UNFPA monies that had been authorized by Congress accounted for 13 percent of the total funding of UNFPA yearly for programs that improve access and quality of reproductive health care including family planning, prevention and treatment of obstetric fistula, and the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS.
The withheld funding would have prevented some two million unwanted pregnancies, 4,700 maternal deaths, nearly 60,000 cases of maternal illnesses and over 77,000 cases of infant and child death each year.
Media Resources: Feminist Majority; Feminist Daily Newswire 1/26/09