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Washington, Feb. 19 – As the Republican majority in the House of Representatives defunded or greatly slashed domestic and international family planning for women in the United States and around the world, they passed an amendment approving the funding of birth control — for horses.
In what House Minority Leader Democrat Nancy Pelosi called, “the most comprehensive and radical assault on women’s health in our lifetime,” the Republican House continuing resolution (CR) passed in a 235 to 189 vote eliminating the domestic Title X program, the only source of federal monies dedicated exclusively to family planning and reproductive health. President Obama’s FY 2012 budget allocates $327 million for Title X family planning programs.
On Friday, Feb. 18, while hundreds of amendments were debated on the floor, Rep. Mike Pence’s (R-IN) proposal to “deny any and all federal funding to Planned Parenthood Federation of America and its affiliates” passed by a vote of 240 to 185. Pence hailed the vote as, “a victory for taxpayers and a victory for life.”
In addition, the Republican House cut funding from $716 million to $440 million and completely defunded UNFPA, the UN Population Fund, which provides family planning and reproductive health care in more than 150 countries. President Obama’s FY 2012 budget proposal includes $47.5 million for UNFPA and $722 million for family planning programs administered through USAID in over 50 countries.
Earlier in the week Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN) offered an amendment to the CR to provide money to the Bureau of Land Management for “purposes of fertility control” for wild horses. It passed by a voice vote.
Various organizations have released statements about the family planning funding cuts including: Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Population Action International, National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, Feminist Majority Foundation, Guttmacher Institute, Americans for UNFPA, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Religious Institute, and National Partnership for Women and Families.
Contacts for more information:
At Population Action International: Michael Khoo Tel: 202-557-3429; Email: email@example.com
At Americans for UNFPA: Angeline Martyn Tel: 646-649-9127; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and Sari Schwartz Email: email@example.com
At Planned Parenthood Federation of America: Tait Sye Tel: 212-261-4433; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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