Posted on | May 8, 2012 by Lisa Correnti |
The House Appropriations State and Foreign Operations subcommittee released its FY 2013 appropriations bill making serious cuts to international organizations that perform or promote abortion. President Obama rescinded the Mexico City policy shortly after taking office which allowed funds allocated for reproductive health to flow to groups like International Planned Parenthood and others. The Obama administration reinstated funding to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), also controversial due to its complicity in China’s one-child policy.
If passed the 2013 Foreign Ops bill would make considerable pro-life strides however given the current make-up of the Senate this does not seem likely.
Consider the following pro-life developments from the House version that cuts approximately $2 billion from the State department, USAID and other foreign operations. From the Hill:
Reinstates Mexico City Policy, a policy prohibiting U.S. assistance to foreign nongovernmental organizations that promote or perform abortions.
Prohibits funding for the UN Population Fund, and caps family planning and reproductive health programs at no more than the fiscal year 2008 level.
Maintains long-standing pro-life riders, including the “Tiahrt Amendment,” which ensures family planning programs are voluntary; the “Helms Amendment,” which bans foreign aid from being spent on abortions; and the “Kemp-Kasten Amendment,” which prohibits funds to organizations the President determines to support coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization.
The House bill also attempts to reform the UN by withholding funding from the UN Human Rights Council unless the “Secretary of State certifies that it is in the national interest, and unless the Council stops its anti-Israel agenda.” The House draft withholds funding from UN organizations “headed by terrorist countries” and only partially funds other UN agencies until greater transparency of appropriated funding occurs.
A recent audit of UN agencies conducted at the request of the Norway government revealed UN agencies failure to disclose how millions of dollars were spent. The report showed UNFPA would not account for $200 million a year allocated to governments and non-governmental groups. It also showed that UNICEF’s accounting methods made “it difficult to track use of funds from headquarters down to the ultimate beneficiaries on the ground.”