Rep. Ami Bera: Defunding UN’s Family Planning Program is ‘Cruel and Misguided’
Washington, D.C. -- Today, Rep. Ami Bera, M.D. (CA-07), pushed back against the US Department of State’s announcement that it would cut off funding to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which provides maternal and women’s health care in 150 countries, including Iraq, South Sudan, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia.
US funding to UNFPA in 2016 went to pregnancy check-ups, family planning, midwife training, and HIV/AIDS prevention in some of the world’s most conflict-ridden areas.
“Denying women in refugee camps and war zones the resources to ensure they give birth safely is not only misguided, it is cruel," Rep. Bera said. We know that these small but crucial funds are working to save the lives of the most vulnerable women and children who are suffering from our worst humanitarian crises in recent history. As a doctor, I am outraged that instead of stepping up to save lives, the administration is walking away.”
According to the UNFPA, in 2016, the program gave 800,000 people access to contraception, prevented 320,000 unintended pregnancies, and averted 100,000 unsafe abortions. In Jordan’s Refugee camps alone, nearly 50,000 women could lose safe delivery services without UNFPA funding.
Rep. Bera is one of only two Democratic doctors in Congress, and has served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee since 2013.