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Cuts To U.S. Funding For Global Health, Including Family Planning, Could Be ‘Dangerous’

The Conversation: Will Trump’s global family planning cuts cause side effects?
Rachel Sullivan Robinson, associate professor at American University School of International Service

“…Rolling back U.S. support for family planning in developing countries is dangerous for two main reasons. First, contraception saves lives by limiting the total number of pregnancies, including those endangering mothers’ lives. Second, … past U.S. funding for family planning had an unintended upside: it helped form the backbone of many countries’ early HIV prevention efforts and created organizations that remain central to the response to HIV. … [T]he impact of the U.S. government’s cessation of United Nations Population Fund support will be largely symbolic. … Previously, when the U.S. has refused to support the global agency, other countries stepped in to fill the gap. It’s unclear whether other countries or additional funders, like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, would be willing to do so if Congress embraces Trump’s broader proposed cuts to global health assistance. … Cutting U.S. funding for global health efforts, including family planning, would leave the poorest countries ill-prepared for epidemics, pandemics, and other emerging health threats — including the kinds that easily cross borders. This negligible budgetary savings will ultimately cost rich and poor nations in the future” (4/17).

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