The House Committee on International Relations yesterday passed an amendment that would provide $100 million over the next two years for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The amendment to the FY 2004 foreign operations authorization bill (HR 1950) passed by a narrow margin of 23-22 in the Republican-dominated committee.
Co-sponsored by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY), the funds provided by the amendment would more than cover the $34 million President Bush withheld from the UNFPA last year. Bush made the decision to withhold the funding from the UN organization based on allegations by the right-wing Population Research Institute that UNFPA programs in China support coercive family planning policies. These allegations were denied by the UNFPA as well as a State Department fact-finding team. The US contribution to the UNFPA makes up 13 percent of the total funding for its international family planning programs - enabling UNFPA to prevent 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.
"This legislation has to do with not punishing women," Lee told the San Francisco Chronicle. "These are vital, life-saving funds." Meanwhile, the 34 Million Friends campaign, a grassroots movement to raise money for the UNFPA, announced its first million earlier this week.
12/1/2015 Candlelight Vigil Calls for an End to Anti-Abortion Terrorism - Last night, dozens of activists gathered outside the Supreme Court for a candlelight vigil calling for an end to anti-abortion terrorism.
The vigil, hosted by Reproaction, included representatives from NARAL Pro-Choice America, Planned Parenthood, the Feminist Majority Foundation, GetEQUAL, the National Council of Jewish Women, and others.
Representatives Jan Schakowsky (IL) and Mike Quigley (IL) joined the crowd and spoke of the need for abortion access and an end to the dangerous anti-choice rhetoric. . . .