It is expected that President Obama will soon sign a “megabus” spending package for fiscal year 2012 (H.R. 2055), which includes funds for international family planning and reproductive health programs. Essentially the funding is the same as the previous budget, neither a cut nor a raise. A raise was sorely needed but was not to be, despite heavy lobbying by us at IPPF and success in the Senate. The House remained opposed and wanted deep cuts. The compromise was level funding.
The State Department and foreign operations bill section of the bill includes a total of $610 million in bilateral and multilateral family planning and reproductive health funding. Comparable FY 2011 funding totaled $615 million.
The bill includes $35 million for a U.S. contribution to the UN Population Fund, a $5 million reduction from the amount appropriated last year. The bill continues the requirements that UNFPA maintain U.S. funds in a segregated account, none of which may be used in China or for abortion, and mandates a dollar-for-dollar reduction in the amount provided to UNFPA by a sum identical to that spent by UNFPA in China.
The funding bill does NOT reinstate the Global Gag Rule, something the House wanted but the Senate resisted. The Senate in fact wanted to prohibit the President from reinstating it. This too, alas, is not in the bill.