1994 Scorecard Vote
Explosive global population growth is one of the most serious threats to a healthy environment. In response to this threat, the United States has actively participated in international efforts to promote family planning and provide families -- especially women -- with better health care and education. In September 1994, for example, the U.S. played a major role in the landmark United Nations conference on population held in Cairo, Egypt.
Prior to that conference, activists on the radical right attempted to block effective U.S. participation in international family planning efforts. Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC) offered an amendment to the Foreign Operations Appropriations bill (H.R. 4426) that ostensibly was designed to prevent the U.S. from spending money on promoting abortion as a primary method of family planning.
However, opponents -- including Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Alan Simpson (R-WY) -- argued that the amendment was overly vague and was actually intended to block the U.S. from participating in the Cairo conference. Moreover, they noted that it could paralyze U.S. participation in all international population and family planning programs, including basic education and health care efforts.
On July 14, 1994, the Senate rejected the Helms amendment by a vote of 42 - 58. NO is the pro-environment vote.