1995 Scorecard Vote
Stabilizing human population growth is a critical factor in achieving environmentally sustainable development worldwide. Voluntary family planning programs are an integral component of these efforts. Opponents of family planning have raised concerns over funding for abortion. However, no U.S. foreign assistance funds have been used for this purpose since 1973.
The Fiscal 1996 Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill, H.R. 1868, included House-passed language (see House vote #12, International Family Planning) that would prohibit family planning assistance to foreign nongovernmental organizations that use non-U.S. funds to provide legal abortion services or even participate in public health policy discussions on abortion in their countries. In addition, the bill would eliminate the U.S. contribution to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which would jeopardize family planning programs in many countries.
On November 1, 1995, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) offered an amendment to strike both provisions and to retain existing law and policy on population assistance and maintain prohibitions on the use of U.S. foreign assistance funds for abortion. The Senate adopted the Leahy amendment 53 - 44. YES is the pro-environment vote.