MALONEY INTRODUCES INTERNATIONAL FAMILY PLANNING BILL –"SAVING WOMEN'S LIVES" BILL WILL SET FY 2001 FUNDING LEVELS, BLOCK GAG RULE

Feb 14, 2000
Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Democratic Chair of the Congressional Women's Caucus, introduced H.R. 3634, "Saving Women's Lives through International Family Planning Act of 2000," a bill which provides international family planning funding for the fiscal year 2001. The bill was introduced with 11 original cosponsors: Reps. Greenwood, Pelosi, Gilman, Campbell, Crowley, Morella, Woolsey, Kelly, McKinney, Thurman and Weiner. In the last session of Congress, Rep. Maloney led the crusade to restore US funding of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

"This fall, in a backroom deal, anti-family planning leaders held hostage UN dues and forced a global gag rule - for one year and hopefully one year only - on USAID funds," Maloney said today.

"I have introduced H.R. 3634 because I believe we must be vigilant in ensuring that the Gag Rule never again appears in back room deals. If it does, we risk sending women back to the back alleys for services. We need to go "Back to the Future" on funding levels for both UNFPA and USAID and on eliminating policy restrictions for how each agency can spend its money. Programs that provide reproductive health, women's empowerment and access to family planning, will help prevent teen pregnancies here in the United States and save women's lives around the world. Investing in family planning is the smartest choice," Maloney said.

H.R. 3634 authorizes 1995 funding levels for international family planning, setting aside $366 million for International Organizations and Programs (IOP), earmarking $35 million of the IOP funds for the UNFPA; and $541 million for Population Planning Assistance.

Additionally, Maloney's bill protects organizations that provide family planning services, at home and abroad, from having their funding jeopardized through "Mexico City" or "Gag Rule" provisions. The bill states: ''In determining eligibility of nongovernmental and multilateral organizations for population planning assistance or other population assistance under this part, the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development may not apply requirements to such organizations that are more restrictive than requirements applicable to foreign governments for such assistance."

 

###