Obama Signs $1 Trillion Bill That Includes International Family Planning
Alexander Sanger, Chair of the International Planned Parenthood Council
As 2011 came to a close, President Obama signed H.R. 2055, a “megabus” spending package of $1 trillion for fiscal year 2012, which includes support for international family planning and reproductive health programs. While the funding is largely the same as the previous budget, there was a slight decrease. A funding increase is sorely needed, but heavy lobbying by IPPF and the bill's success in the Senate wasn't enough to persuade the House, which remained opposed and wanted deeper cuts. The compromise among the two was to maintain fairly level funding.
The State Department and foreign operations bill section of the bill includes $610 million in bilateral and multilateral family planning and reproductive health funding. Comparable FY 2011 funding totaled $615 million.
The bill includes a $35 million contribution from the United States to the UN Population Fund, a $5 million reduction from the amount appropriated last year, and continues to require UNFPA to maintain U.S. funds in a segregated account. The US funds may not be used in China or for abortion services and mandates a dollar-for-dollar reduction in the amount provided to UNFPA by a sum identical to that spent by UNFPA in China.
Despite pressure from the House, H.R. 2055 does not reinstate the Global Gag Rule. The Senate wanted to prohibit the President from reinstating it; however, this is not in the bill either.