As Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-NY) said in her opening statement: “Whether you call yourself a Republican or a Democrat, pro-choice or pro-life, it is clear these unconscionable and unnecessarily divisive policies and cuts are counterproductive to our shared goals of reducing unwanted pregnancies, maternal and infant deaths, and abortions.”
During markup of a draft FY 2012 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill, the subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX), approved the draft bill without change or amendment. The bill funds foreign assistance programs, including international family planning and reproductive health (FP/RH) activities, and the State Department for the coming fiscal year that begins on October 1st.
The draft bill contains funding cuts and policy riders that represent further anti-family planning salvos by the House Republican leadership, including the following lowlights:
Family Planning Funding: Statutory ceiling on funding for FP/RH programs at not more than $461 million from all accounts—a 25 percent cut from the FY 2011 enacted level of $615 million and a 40 percent cut below the President’s FY 2012 request of $769 million. The proposed 25 percent cut from current levels is deeper and disproportionate relative to most other development and health programs and comes on top of the 5 percent cut from the FY 2010 high-water mark imposed on FP/RH programs during this fiscal year.
The Guttmacher Institute estimates that the proposed $154 million funding cut would have the following impact if adopted:
- 9.4 million fewer women and couples receiving contraceptive services
- almost 3 million more unintended pregnancies
- 1.3 million more abortions (mostly unsafe)
- 1.3 million more unplanned births
- 7,700 more maternal deaths
- more than 35,000 more orphans