The State Department said it was ending funding for the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) because it “supports, or participates in the management of, a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization.”
By halting assistance to the U.N. Population Fund, the Trump administration is following through on promises to let socially conservative policies that President Donald Trump embraced in his campaign determine the way the U.S. government operates and conducts itself in the world. Though focused on forced abortion — a concept opposed by liberals and conservatives alike — the move to invoke the “Kemp-Kasten amendment” was sure to be perceived as a gesture to anti-abortion advocates and other conservative interests.
The U.N. fund will lose $32.5 million in funding from the 2017 budget, the State Department said, with funds shifted to similar programs at the U.S. Agency for International Development. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the U.N. fund would also lose out on tens of millions of additional dollars it has typically received from the U.S. in “non-core” funds.
Under a three-decade-old law, the U.S. is barred from funding organizations that aid or participate in forced abortion of involuntary sterilization. It’s up to each administration to determine which organizations meet that condition. The U.N. Population Fund has typically been cut off during Republican administrations and had its funding resumed when Democrats control the White House.