|UNFPA directly funding MSI abortion clinics.|
In a letter to U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, the State Department said it was dropping the funding because the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) "supports, or participates in the management of, a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization."
The cut marks U.S. President Donald Trump's first move to curtail funding for the United Nations and is likely to raise further questions about how deep those cuts will eventually go throughout the organization, where the United States is the top donor.
It comes after Trump in January reinstated the so-called Mexico City Policy that withholds U.S. funding for international organizations that perform abortions or provide information about abortion. Known by critics as the "global gag" rule, Trump broadened its scope to include all global health assistance in his Jan. 23 executive order that withholds at least half a billion dollars in U.S. funds. A lack of clarity around the rule, however, has left aid groups scrambling and both Republican and Democratic U.S. lawmakers seeking clarity.
In a statement on its website, UNFPA said it regrets the U.S. decision to end funding, which it said is based on an "erroneous claim" that the agency supports coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization in China.
(Blogger’s notes: UNFPA is also extremely active in many poor non-Muslim countries such as Myanmar by actively and generously funding International Abortion Organizations like Mary Stopes International (MSI). Nearly five percent of US contribution to UNFPA last year went straight to MSI-Myanmar for coercive abortions and voluntary/involuntary sterilizations.)
UNFPA said its mission is "to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled. The support we received over the years from the government and people of the United States has saved tens of thousands of mothers from preventable deaths and disabilities, and especially now in the rapidly developing global humanitarian crises," the statement said.
The cut follows Trump's proposed 28 percent budget reduction for diplomacy and foreign aid, including an unspecified reduction in financial support for the United Nations and its agencies, announced last month.
U.N. agencies such as the UNFPA are funded by governments voluntarily. The United States was the fourth-largest voluntary donor to UNFPA in 2015, giving $75 million in core budget and earmarked contributions.
U.N. officials have warned that abrupt funding cuts could trigger more global instability and argued that dollars for diplomacy are more effective than military spending in combating terrorism.
More UNFPA-Sponsored MSI Abortion Clinics For Yangon
A select group of Myanmar media saw for themselves progress being made by the Government of Myanmar in meeting international commitments it made on improving family planning across the country at two UNFPA-sponsored family planning facilities in Thanlyin Township, a low-income area in the outskirts of Yangon.
The visit organised by the UNFPA on 14 November 2013, coincided with the Global Family Planning (FP2020) conference which was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. At the conference, the Government pledged to reduce unmet needs for contraception and increase contraceptive prevalence rates to 50 percent by 2015.
This means that an estimate of 900,000 women of reproductive age in the next 7 years will have access to family planning. About one fourth of Myanmar women of reproductive age currently do not meet their needs for family planning, although they have said they would like to practice contraception.
The two sexual and reproductive health facilities in Thanlyin are sponsored by UNFPA and operated by development partners, Marie Stopes International (MSI) and Population Services International (PSI). UNFPA contributes in Myanmar with $6,813,658 for the reproductive health and $811,566 for the HIV/AIDS programme.
The media group first visited the MSI sexual reproductive health clinic which on a daily basis sees approximately 40 clients a day, the majority stem from rural areas. The clinic provides family planning services such as birth control pills, emergency contraceptive pills, injectable contraceptives, male and female condoms, Intra Uterine Contraceptive Devices (ICUD) and implants, in addition to anti-natal care, cervical cancer screening and prevention, testing and treatment for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and HIV/AIDS.
The clinic also functions as a youth development centre where youth peer-educators inform adolescents about prevention against unwanted pregnancies and STIs. Approximately 20,000 women are of reproductive age out of a total population of 190,000 in Thanliyn Township. It is home to the largest port in the country, the Thilawa port. The MSI clinic covers about half of the villages in the township.
At the PSI run Taw Win clinic in the centre of Thanlyin, they treat around 40-50 people a day. A doctor working at the clinic, Dr. Tun Tun Win, said that the local community “has some knowledge about family planning,” or birth spacing as it is referred to in Myanmar. “Birth spacing is proven successful because the number of abortions has significantly declined. The most popular form of contraception is the Depo-Provera jab, which lasts for 12 weeks,” said Dr. Win.
|One of two newly-opened MSI clinics in Rangoon.|
Mary Stopes International Killed A Million Buddhist Babies In Burma.