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President Renews His Support for Family Planning and Reproductive Health

April 11, 2013

Yesterday, as part of his proposed budget request for fiscal year 2014 (FY14), President Obama called upon Congress to increase funding for international family planning and reproductive health.  This is good news for the 222 million women in developing countries who need access to family planning services and information.

The President's budget asks for $635.4 million in bilateral and multilateral funding for international family planning and reproductive health programs, including $37 million for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). This represents a 6% increase over the estimated $598 million that was appropriated in FY13.

The President's budget reaffirms his strong support for international family planning.  According the figures from the Guttmacher Institute an increase in $37.4 million would mean:

  • 1,924,000 more women and couples would receive contraceptive services and supplies;
  • 555,000 fewer unintended pregnancies, including 259,000 fewer unplanned births, would occur;
  • 259,000 fewer abortions would take place (of which 185,000 would have been unsafe); and
  • 1,480 fewer maternal deaths would occur.

Commenting on the release of the President's budget, Robert Walker, president of the Population Institute, said, "While the Administration's budget falls far short of the $1 billion needed to ensure that the 222 million women with an unmet need for family planning get access to family planning services and supplies, it shows that President Obama is still committed to supporting family planning and reproductive health services for women in the developing world. However with Congressional opponents of contraception gearing up for renewed attacks on family planning, we're going to need the President to hold firm and for our Congressional supporters to rally in defense of international family planning assistance."

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