U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, made the following remarks opposing funding for overseas "family planning" and "reproductive health" initiatives at a Committee hearing examining the Administration's FY 2013 budget request for foreign assistance. During the hearing, the Committee received testimony from Dr. Rajiv Shah, Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). For Ros-Lehtinen's full opening statement at the hearing, please click here.
Excerpt from Ros-Lehtinen's remarks:
"I also remain opposed to the increase in money for family planning and reproductive health, especially when all other global health accounts decline. The Administration's reversal of the Mexico City Policy allows U.S. government funding to be allocated to foreign non-governmental organizations that support or promote abortion as a method of family planning. An increase in family planning and reproductive health would only provide further opportunity for expanded funding for these organizations."
Earlier this month, Ros-Lehtinen sent a letter to House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan raising the Committee Majority's opposition to the Administration's reversal of the Mexico City Policy. Ros-Lehtinen noted that U.S. funding for family planning and reproductive health activities outlined in the FY2013 request reflects the Administration's misguided priorities. In addition, Ros-Lehtinen expressed her objection to the Administration's $39 million assistance to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which supports China's coercive population control agenda.
Excerpts from the letter:
"The Committee Majority remains opposed to the Administration's abortion rights agenda, and strongly support the reinstatement of the Mexico City Policy. Funding for family planning and reproductive health activities under the FY13 request should be reduced and re-allocated to critical sectors of global health currently marked for cuts."
"The Administration is requesting $39 million for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) despite that body's continuing support for and participation in the management of China's brutal "one-child policy." The Chinese government's practices of forced abortion and coerced sterilizations clearly violate international human rights standards and it has been demonstrated that UNFPA provides assistance to the very Chinese government agency that implements these human rights violations. The U.S. should return to its past practice, consistent with the Kemp-Kasten amendment, of prohibiting funding to UNFPA until it ceases direct or indirect involvement in coercive population control activities."