Washington, DC—The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) released the following statement on the Trump Administration’s decision to halt all grants to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) by invoking the Kemp-Kasten Amendment:
“ACOG is deeply disappointed by the administration’s decision to stop all grant funding to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), a vital humanitarian aid organization that provides maternal and child health services in more than 150 countries worldwide. The UNFPA also provides reproductive health care, including increasing women’s access to effective contraception, and ensuring safe and healthy pregnancies and births across the globe. The elimination of U.S. funding to the UNFPA will put the lives of millions of women and girls in jeopardy. Though the administration invoked the Kemp-Kasten Amendment, the UNFPA does not fit the amendment’s scope, as it neither provides nor promotes abortion or involuntary sterilization.
“Defunding the UNFPA hinders the effectiveness of U.S. global health investments and the growing global progress made in modern family planning. Rather than limit coercive or involuntary reproductive health practices or abortion care, as proposed, this decision will slow the momentum of developing and donor countries that are making tangible headway in closing the gap on access to family planning through increased funding and better policies.
“In 2016 the UNFPA supported access to contraceptives for 800,000 people around the world and prevented an estimated 100,000 unsafe abortions and 10,000 maternal deaths. Without the $76 million in funding provided by the United States, the reach and effectiveness of the program will suffer. Restricted resources will increase barriers to safe, timely, and effective reproductive health care for women across the globe; and will likely result in higher instances of unplanned pregnancy, limited or no prenatal care, higher risk pregnancies and deliveries, and maternal mortality. By denying funding to the UNFPA, the United States is jeopardizing the health and security of hundreds of thousands of women and babies worldwide.
“For many years, this country has played an important role in advancing global women’s health. Through programs like the UNFPA, we have seen real progress in women’s ability to obtain comprehensive and safe care. Instead of turning back the clock on women’s health, the administration must reinforce its efforts by continuing to prioritize improving access, quality, and resources to women around the world."
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (The College), a 501(c)(3) organization, is the nation’s leading group of physicians providing health care for women. As a private, voluntary, nonprofit membership organization of more than 58,000 members, The College strongly advocates for quality health care for women, maintains the highest standards of clinical practice and continuing education of its members, promotes patient education, and increases awareness among its members and the public of the changing issues facing women’s health care. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a 501(c)(6) organization, is its companion organization. www.acog.org