Members of Congress Ask Administration to Explain UNFPA Funding Cut
Four Democratic members of Congress sent a letter on Friday to US Secretary of State Colin Powell demanding an explanation of the Administration's denial of funding for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Earlier this month, eight Senators wrote a letter to President Bush urging him to carefully consider “new facts and developments that reinforce the case for US funding for the United Nations Population Fund” and to “undertake a thoughtful and thorough review of this long-standing issue” before determining whether to deny the UNFPA funding.
The letter to Powell also asked for an explanation of the threats to de-fund the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). According to Kaiser, at a meeting earlier this month the administration stated that it would no longer be able to provide financial support to UNICEF because of its belief that UNCIEF would not be able to keep its funds separate from UNFPA’s funds. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-CA), one of the signatories of the letter to Powell, said, “At a time when we need the UN more than ever, the will of the right wing is getting in the way. In its continued War on Women, the Bush Administration is doing the right wing’s bidding – telling WHO and UNICEF whom they can meet with, whom they can include on a panel and whom they can talk to, all at risk of losing funding.”
President Bush officially withheld $34 million in funds for the UNFPA in 2002 based on unsubstantiated claims by the right-wing group Population Research International (PRI) that the UNFPA supports forced abortions in China. Despite the fact that Bush's own handpicked investigative team found no evidence to back PRI's claim, Bush still would not release the funds to the UNFPA, which provides crucial family planning and health services to women in many developing countries. President Bush has until July 15 to decide whether the UNFPA is in violation of the Kemp-Kasten amendment, which prohibits the US from funding agencies that are involved in coerced abortion or sterilization, reports the New York Times.
7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defundÂ Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).Â Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell asÂ out of order.
Republican legislators have redoubled their efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood since the release of twoÂ heavily edited clandestine videos of different PPFA employees taken without their knowledge. . . .
7/24/2015 Katherine Spillar Urges Cleveland to Dramatically Increase Hiring of Women Police to Mitigate Police Violence - In a well-received speech at the City Club of Cleveland today, Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation urged Cleveland city officials to dramatically increase the hiring of women police officers as a way to decrease police brutality incidents.
Following a number of high profile police killings in Cleveland of African Americans, and an eight-month investigation by the US Attorney's office of the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Cleveland has now entered into a Consent Decree that requires numerous reforms in how the city oversees and investigates police operations, including training in use of force.
"Among the most important reforms mandated by the consent decree - and the most easily overlooked - are the changes the Cleveland Division of Police must make in its recruitment and hiring practices,
said Spillar. . . .