House Democrats Defend UNFPA

A group of 122 House Democrats fought back today against what they called “a systematic and baseless campaign of misinformation” from House Republicans about UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund.

In an open letter to President Obama, the group urged him to reaffirm U.S. support for the agency and for its programs supporting comprehensive reproductive health care in more than 150 countries worldwide. It gave a point-by-point rebuttal of charges against UNFPA that House Republicans made in an Oct. 7 letter to Obama, which the Democrats said “misrepresented and distorted a number of facts” about UNFPA.

“It is time for the allegations and falsehoods to come to an end,” the letter said. “We want to ensure the public record accurately reflects the work of UNFPA.”

The U.S. contribution in FY 2010 to UNFPA was $40 million, which the House Republican majority is seeking to cut to zero. The Democrats said that could lead to greater maternal deaths, unplanned pregnancies and HIV/AIDS infections.

Valerie DeFillipo, president of Americans for UNFPA, thanked the legislators for their letter, saying it “reflects the values that American voters and women around the world count on them to support and address.”

The Crowley-led congressional letter was released on the same day Nicholas Kristof wrote in The New York Times on the life-saving importance of birth control in "The Birth Control Solution." He addresses the bi-partisan roots of family planning, and poignantly draws attention to real examples, solutions and the impact of voluntary family planning, as well as the critical role of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund.

In Kristof’s article he asserts, “Contraception already prevents 112 million abortions a year, by U.N. estimates. The United Nations Population Fund is a bête noire for conservatives, but its promotion of contraception means that it may have reduced abortions more than any organization in the world.”

--- Source: Americans for UNFPA ---

In the wake of continuing assaults on women’s health and rights, we need your voice—and your passion—urgently. As early as next week, the Senate will consider a bill that includes foreign assistance funding for critical programs for women in the developing world, including reproductive health. As a supporter of women’s rights, stand up for the health of women and families worldwide at our new Facebook Action Center. There, you can sign a petition and post it to your friends’ walls to spread the word and help stop the attack on women’s well-being.

Our commitment to securing a world of choice and opportunity must not retreat. Join us today.


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