Obama Restores US Funding of UNFPA by Signing Omnibus Spending Bill
President Obama signed the 2009 fiscal year omnibus spending bill yesterday, which included a provision allotting $50 million to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). In the first days of his term, Obama pledged to restore US funding to UNFPA in upcoming appropriations.
UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid said in a press release that "we warmly applaud this action by President Obama, which underlines his support to the protection of the lives and human dignity of women and girls in the poorest countries….[this support] will allow UNFPA to maintain its life-saving work, particularly improving maternal and reproductive health, in the world's poorest communities, especially during this financial crisis."
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: UNFPA Press Release 3/12/09; Feminist Daily Newswire 1/26/09
6/18/2013 Supreme Court Strikes Down Proof of Citizenship Voter Requirements - On Monday, the United States Supreme Court struck down an Arizona law requiring voters to provide proof of citizenship before being allowed register to vote.
In an opinion written [PDF] by Justice Antonin Scalia, the Court ruled that the Arizona statute violated the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA, also known as the "Motor Voter Law") of 1993, which created a federal form that individuals can mail in to register to vote in federal elections. . . .
6/18/2013 Pakistani Women's University Bus, Hospital Bombed - A bus for a women's university in Pakistan and the hospital that treated victims from the blast were bombed on Saturday, killing 14 students and 24 others at the hospital.
The bus was transporting female students and teachers from Sardar Bahadur Khan Women's University in Quetta, located in the southwestern part of Pakistan. . . .
6/18/2013 Taliban Attack In Afghan Capital As NATO Transfers Power - Yesterday, NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) transferred responsibility for the country's security forces to the Afghan government after a bomb blast targeting a political official left three civilians dead in Kabul. . . .