For Immediate Release, June 11, 2015
Contact: Stephanie Feldstein, (734) 395-0770, firstname.lastname@example.org
House Appropriations Bill for State Department Puts Women, Climate at Risk
Funding Cuts, Restrictions on International Family Planning Programs
Threaten Health of Women, Families and Environment
WASHINGTON— The State Department appropriations bill approved by the House Appropriations Committee today includes funding cuts and restrictions to international family-planning programs that will threaten the health of women, families and the environment.
The proposed Fiscal Year 2016 State Department and Foreign Operations appropriations bill slashes funding for family planning and reproductive healthcare programs by nearly $150 million, capping it at no more than $461 million. Universal access to family planning and reproductive healthcare are critical to addressing the population crisis that puts women, families, wildlife and the planet at risk.
“This irresponsible bill endangers women and our global environment,” said Stephanie Feldstein, the Center for Biological Diversity’s population and sustainability director. “Unchecked population growth has driven environmental and human-rights problems around the world, including the climate crisis. Meeting the unmet need for contraception and family planning is a common-sense and cost-effective way to improve the health of moms, babies and the planet.”
The appropriations bill would also prohibit any contributions to the United Nations Population Fund and reinstates the “global gag rule,” which denies funding to any foreign healthcare agency that provides information or services for legal abortion, even when it’s done using non-U.S. funds.
A recent report from the University of California, San Francisco’s Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, cites that improving access to family planning could provide 16 to 29 percent of the needed decrease in greenhouse gas emissions.
“The House Appropriations Committee had the opportunity to increase the quality of healthcare for women and children, reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies and combat the threats of climate change and wildlife extinction,” said Feldstein. “But once again the committee has turned its back on women and the environment.”
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 900,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.