For Immediate Release: April 3rd, 2017
What is it about women’s empowerment and autonomy that is so offensive to this administration?
Don’t be fooled. Today’s action to bar any aid to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) by the Trump administration has absolutely nothing to do with defending human rights in China or anywhere else.
In fact, if forced abortion and other forms of reproductive coercion were real concerns, the administration would be calling for more funding to UNFPA, not eliminating it. Instead, they are moving to strip access to family planning and reproductive health care to millions of people around the world.
UNFPA has worked tirelessly to press the Chinese government to moderate its family planning rules, to eliminate coercive practices, and to open itself up to independent monitoring. And, it has been successful.
This administration has no concern for reproductive autonomy of Chinese women or women anywhere. Today’s action is just another assault on their freedom, their autonomy, and their empowerment.
UNFPA works in some 150 countries to increase access to contraceptives, eliminate harmful practices such as female genital mutilation and child marriage, and provide emergency maternal and reproductive health services. Our support allowed some 800,000 women get access to contraceptives last year alone. Between 2014 and 2016, U.S. contributions also provided critical care to people in emergencies, including providing 751 mobile clinics and more than 8,000 reproductive health kits.
In the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, UNFPA has helped deliver more than 7,000 babies without a single maternal death. Given the high rate of complications among refugee populations, this is a remarkable feat—one that should be applauded and supported. Instead, the United States will no longer be a partner in this work.
There is a disturbing pattern to this president’s actions. He targets vulnerable people and makes their lives harder and more dangerous. That’s not presidential. It’s predatory.
Contact: Brian Dixon