One week from today—unless Congress and the President reach a deal to avoid it—an across-the-board cut in federal spending will cause international family planning and reproductive health programs to lose tens of millions of dollars, resulting in the denial of contraceptive services to nearly 1.7 million women and in almost 500,000 women having unintended pregnancies as a consequence.
On March 1, absent an agreement on long-term budget reduction, sequestration will trigger large, automatic cuts in domestic and defense programs. What does this mean for overseas family planning and reproductive health (FP/RH) programs, and the women who depend on them? The net effect would be a $32.3 million cut, and, based on an analysis by the Guttmacher Institute:
- 1.68 million women denied access to contraceptive services & supplies
- 485,000 additional unintended pregnancies
- 226,000 additional unplanned births
- 226,000 additional abortions (of which 162,000 are unsafe)
- 1,292 maternal deaths
- 6,460 children losing their mothers
The clock is ticking. For a full analysis of the situation, see our Washington Memo.