The US state department informed U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker that the United States was cutting off funding for the United Nations Population Fund, an worldwide program that promotes abortion and sterilizations.
However, a 2012 investigation by the Population Research Institute, a non-profit group dedicated to exposing human rights abuses in population control programs, discovered that "the UNFPA is directly responsible for forced abortions and forced sterilizations in China", wrote PRI's president Steven W. Mosher for LifeNews at the time. Like the gag rule, the UNFPA has been a frequent target of Republican presidential administrations.
A report by the Associated Press states that as a result of the end of U.S. funding of UNFPA, $32.5 million will shift to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which has the goal of reducing maternal deaths and practices such as genital mutilation.
At the time, as the United States government announced it had pulled $34m of funds, the UNFPA said the lost funding would have prevented 2 million unwanted pregnancies and the deaths of 77,000 children.
Meanwhile, the agency has called the claims "Erroneous", saying that all of its work promotes the rights of individuals and couples to make their own decisions, free of coercion or discrimination. Still, the memo acknowledged there was no evidence of United Nations support for forced abortions or sterilization in China.
The Trump administration has promised many cuts to the financial constributions to the United Nations and this is just one of the first ones.
According to the Guardian, the state department explained in a letter that it was halting the country's funds because UNFPA "supports, or participates in the management of, a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization".
United Nations agencies such as the UNFPA are funded by governments voluntarily.
The agency said it regretted the United States move and argued it was "erroneous" to suggest it was complicit in China's policies.
It seems to be founded on the 1985 Kemp-Kasten amendment, which prohibits USA taxpayer money from funding abortion or forced sterilization anywhere in the world.
Brian Dixon, vice president of government relations and media for the Population Connection Action Fund, a reproductive health organization, added: 'The signals here are clear, and they're not in support of.the human rights of women, or any other vulnerable people'.
The pulling of funds is not related to the reinstatement of the Mexico City Policy, which withdraws government funding from U.S. NGOs that mention or actively promote abortions overseas. Accordingly UNFPA spends a majority of its funds on promoting abortions and contraceptives. " This provision, included by Congress in every foreign operations spending act since 1985, prohibits US funding of any organization or program that the president determines "supports or participates in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization". Under China's One (now Two) Child Policy, women have been forcibly aborted up to the ninth month of pregnancy.
The UN Population Fund is financed through voluntary contributions.
Trump's reinstatement of the Mexico City Policy was criticized in February by Bill and Melinda Gates, whose foundation has as its focus the support of family planning across the globe.