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March 16, 2009

Secretary of State Clinton Moves to Fund Critical International Family-Planning Program

Washington, D.C. – Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, hailed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's decision to release $50 million appropriated by Congress for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

This move marks the first time in seven years that funding will be made available, as President Bush consistently canceled out funding that Congress had approved for the vital health program.

"Women in the United States and around the world now have yet another example of why elections matter and how new leadership can end divisive policies that harm women," Keenan said. "The Obama administration's action, under the leadership of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, makes good on the pledge to improve women's access to vital health care, including contraception, at home and around the world."

Founded in 1969, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is the largest internationally funded source of population assistance to developing countries. For nearly 40 years, UNFPA – which is funded entirely from voluntary contributions from participating nations – has provided more than $6 billion in aid to about 150 countries for vital services, including voluntary family planning, maternal and child health care, and HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment.

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