Trump cuts funding to UN women's health arm over forced abortion concerns
© Getty Images

The Trump administration says it's cutting off U.S. funding to the United Nations Population Fund, the agency for reproductive health, because it supports a Chinese program that uses forced abortions.

The fund, which offers aid to more than 150 countries, is expected to lose $32.5 million in the 2017 budget, according to an Associated Press report Monday. 

The State Department said those funds will instead be shifted to similar programs at the U.S. Agency for International Development.


The administration said it does not want the funds to go to China's government to support population controls or coercive abortions under its "two-child policy," despite a lack of evidence of U.N. support for forced abortions or sterilization in China.

Trump is expected to host Chinese President Xi Jinping at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida later this week. 

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee was reportedly notified of the State Department's decision in a letter Monday, in which State Department Under Secretary of Political Affairs Tom Shannon said that the fund “supports, or participates in the management of, a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization.”

It is not unusual for Republican presidents to cut off funds to the U.N. Population Fund. It has more than once been cut off by Republican presidents and later restored by Democrats.

The U.N. Population Fund said it regretted the U.S. move, adding that it is “erroneous” to suggest it was complicit in China’s policies.

“UNFPA refutes this claim, as all of its work promotes the human rights of individuals and couples to make their own decisions, free of coercion or discrimination,” the agency said in a statement.