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THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary


For Immediate Release April 7, 2000
              PRESIDENT CLINTON URGES CONGRESS TO SUPPORT 
          INTERNATIONAL FAMILY PLANNING AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH

                               April 7, 2000

Today, in a White House ceremony marking World Health Day, President Clinton will recognize the critical role that family planning plays in saving the lives and protecting the health of women around the world. He will call for action to address the fact that every day, at least 1,600 women around the world die from the complications of pregnancy and childbirth. The President will urge Congress to fully fund his FY 2001 budget initiatives to address this and other health care challenges facing women and families, including: an additional $169 million in family planning assistance to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), thereby restoring funding to 1995 levels ($541.6 million); $25 million to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA); and $100 million through USAID, the Department of Health and Human Services and other agencies to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS, primarily in Africa.

MILLIONS OF WOMEN WORLDWIDE ARE WITHOUT ACCESS TO SAFE AND EFFECTIVE FAMILY PLANNING AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH SERVICES. Use of family planning can have profound effects on women's health and dramatically reduce infant and child deaths. Related reproductive health services promote safe motherhood and prevent sexually transmitted diseases. America has been the leader in providing family planning and reproductive health care for women and their families in developing countries, investing over $3.5 billion through USAID and UNFPA since 1993, as well as close to $1 billion in HIV/AIDS prevention. But, much more needs to be done.

PRESIDENT CLINTON URGES CONGRESS TO SUPPORT HIS PROPOSALS TO SAVE WOMEN'S LIVES AND PROTECT WOMEN'S HEALTH. President Clinton's budget this year contains several important proposals to improve women's health. Today, the President urged Congress to support and pass his family planning and reproductive health initiatives, including:

A CRITICAL TIME TO SAVE WOMEN'S LIVES, PROTECT WOMEN'S HEALTH AND PROVIDE WOMEN WITH THE OPPORTUNITY TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF THEIR NATIONS.

The President will note that this is a critical time to invest in international family planning programs. Today, there are one billion people between the ages of 15 and 24 -- the largest generation ever -- entering their reproductive years, and a record number of people living with or vulnerable to HIV/AIDS.

The President will recognize the critical role that family planning plays in saving the lives and protecting the health of women around the world. America's strong support for international family planning programs will allow millions of women to plan their families, provide for their children's future, and contribute to the development of their nations.

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