One of the first things Trump did after his inauguration in January was to sign an anti-abortion policy. In line with that, the United States has stopped all financial support for the United Nation Population Fund(UNPFA).
US government has accused the agency of funding and supporting “coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization”.
“This determination was made based on the fact that China’s family planning policies still involve the use of coercive abortion and involuntary sterilisation, and UNFPA partners on family planning activities with the Chinese government agency responsible for these coercive policies,”
Owing to the long time one-child policy in China, some families were subjected to coercive abortions in order to comply with the law. According to US state department, UNFPA plays a role in administering the procedure.
Trump has made it categorically clear that under his watch, the US government will not support any agency that promotes abortion or provides information on it.
From 2002-2008, President George W. Bush cut funds to UNFPA. He shared Trump’s sentiments that the agency played a key role in materializing China’s “one child” family planning policy.
By cutting the funding, the United States will be withdrawing a total of $32.5 million (£26 million) this year. As at 2015, US was the largest donor to the UN agency. US made a total donation of $979 million that year.
“The support we received over the years from the government and people of the United States has saved tens of thousands of mothers from preventable deaths and disabilities, and especially now in the rapidly developing global humanitarian crises.”
BBC says this is the first of the promised cuts to US financial contributions to the UN by the Trump administration.
UNPFA which is funded by several countries on voluntary basis, insists that the US government is acting on erroneous facts.
In defense of the accusation, UNPFA says “all of its work promotes the rights of individuals and couples to make their own decisions, free of coercion or discrimination”.
“We regret the decision of the United States decision to cut future funding of our life saving works”.
The agency largely known for family planning support in about 150 countries in the world. They provide health services especially for women with reproduction concerns.
Opposing the stand of the current US administration, the agency outlined their successes with the funds from various nations. Their services include:
- Provision of sexual/reproductive services; and family planning to women who need it
- Prevention of unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortions
- Support for maternal health
- Organizing programmes in the world’s “most fragile” countries, including Iraq, South Sudan, Syria, Yemen and Somalia
Cutting their donations will definitely affect the health services of the UN agency in many countries.
While the agency says they do not participate in coercive abortion, it admits that its mission is “to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled”.
Past reports show that the $34 million which was withdrawn during President Bush’s regime “would have prevented 2 million unwanted pregnancies and the deaths of 77,000 children”.
Trump’s administration says that the money which should have been donated to the agency will now be diverted to the USAID coffers.