Washington, D.C./ Politics & Govt
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Published on June 15, 2024
Biden-Harris Administration Commits Over $1.3 Billion to Global Sexual and Repellent Health Rights, Advancing Gender Equity and LGBTQI+ InclusionSource: Unsplash/ Manny Becerra

The Biden-Harris administration has announced a recommitment to the sexual and reproductive rights of women and LGBTQI+ communities on the backdrop of the 30th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). With a forward thrust into policy implementation, the administration has pledged to address disparities and barriers in access to health care, and to work tirelessly towards gender equity and equality.

At the dawn of its term, the administration showed firm support for reproductive rights, as noted in the January 2021 Presidential Memorandum which nixed the previous administration's global gag rule. With $620 million earmarked for maternal and child health plus an additional $607.5 million directed towards family planning and reproductive health programs, the US marks its dedication as a global leader in this sector. As released in a statement, an influx of $32.5 million in core funding to support UNFPA also solidifies this commitment.

In a recent release, the administration outlined several new initiatives, a significant one being the investment of $86.5 million to aid family planning in nine Francophone West African countries via USAID. This denotes a $15.5 million pump up from last year, and is staged to better sexual and reproductive health care in regions with low contraceptive use and high maternal mortality.

Another USAID program, "ACCESS," launches with a $1.2 million backing to dismantle the hard-set barriers to family planning and reproductive health care. With an emphasis on adolescents, youths, and marginalized groups, including LGBTQI+ persons, it seeks to usher in a new wave of inclusion and equity. The US Census Bureau Inter-Agency Agreement, wrapped in this commitment, promises a fine-tuned approach to data gathering that ensures the whispers of the vulnerable are heard as clearly as the shouts of the dominant.

Maternal mortality, an enduring global health challenge, is on the administration's radar with strategized enhancements to maternal health care services and an innovative treatment model for postpartum hemorrhage in its crosshairs. Partnering with entities like the Gates Foundation, USAID is introducing a direct measure-and-treat initiative that the potential holds to reduce severe bleeding - the chief cause of maternal mortality - by 60 percent.

Moving beyond health services, the administration is capitalizing on its established role in global advocacy by renewing commitments to tackle thorny issues like child, early, and forced marriage (CEFM) and female genital mutilation and cutting (FGM/C). USAID’s investment speaking measures the administration's intent, with $38.2 million routed in the last two fiscal years to abate CEFM and a $5 million contribution to the mission of eradicating FGM/C.