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Sequestration Impacts International Family Planning

March 04, 2013

On March 1st with the President and Congress unable to reach an agreement to avert the sequester, sequestration went into effect. This means that many federal programs will see a 5% across the board cut in their funding. What this means for international family planning and reproductive health is that the $610 million that was allocated for family planning and reproductive health programs in FY2012 will be cut by $30.687 million.

This cut, if it is not reversed, will have real devastating impacts on the lives of women around the world. According to analysis done by the Guttmacher Institute a cut in international family planning and reproductive health funding of $30.7 million will mean:

·         1.6 million women will be denied access to contraceptive services and supplies

·         460,000 additional unintended pregnancies

·         215,000 unplanned births

·         215,000 more abortions, of which 153,000 will be unsafe

·         1225 maternal deaths

·         6,140 more children will lose their mothers

In discussing the impacts of sequestration, Robert Walker, Population Institute’s President, said, “Now is not the time to be reducing access to family planning services around the world. There are an estimated 222 million women in developing countries that need access to family planning services and information and these cuts will only increase their number. Rather than retreating, we should be joining with other donor nations and foundations in seeking to expand access to family planning services to another 120 million women by 2020.  We should be increasing our funding for family planning, not slashing it.”

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