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Frankel Champions Funding for Global Women’s Health and Equality, Israel Security Assistance in Appropriations Bill

State, Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill Now Heads to House Floor for Passage

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Washington, May 17, 2019 | comments

Washington, DC – Today, Representative Lois Frankel (FL-21) released the following statement after helping pass the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Agencies funding bill for Fiscal Year 2020 out of the Appropriations Committee.

During yesterday’s markup, Rep. Frankel fiercely took on the Republican attempt to cut off women’s access to health care around the world and limit reproductive rights.

Included in this bill are provisions supported by Rep. Frankel that will protect a woman’s full access to reproductive health care, such as a permanent repeal of the Global Gag Rule, which prevents foreign organizations receiving U.S. global health assistance from providing information, referrals, or services for legal abortion. The bill also provides increased funding for international gender equality programs and $265 million to help implement the Women’s Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment Act, authored by Rep. Frankel and signed into law in January 2019, which seeks to address gender-related barriers to economic growth and supports women-led enterprises.   

“When girls and women are better educated, healthier, and safer, their countries are more secure and prosperous – that’s what this great bipartisan bill does for the women of the world,” said Rep. Frankel.

In addition to advocating for gender equality around the globe, Rep. Frankel championed billions in funding for our continued commitment to Israel’s security.

“Israel is our greatest ally and can never be used as a political football,” said Rep. Frankel. “Making sure Israel has the ability to defend itself is critical to our own national security.”

The State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs appropriations bill provides $56.4 billion in funding—$2.2 billion above current levels and $13.7 billion above the President’s budget request. As a member of this Appropriations subcommittee and a former member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Frankel advocated for an array of programs, many of which will positively impact women and families globally. Included in the bill are provisions to:

Global Women’s Reproductive Health:

  • Provide $750 million for family planning, $175 million above FY19 enacted levels
  • Permanently repeal the Global Gag Rule
  • Remove the ban on U.S. assistance to the UN Population Fund (UNPA) and significantly increase its funding to $55.5 million.
  • Require the State Department to monitor and report on violations of women’s reproductive rights in its annual Human Rights Report
  • Encourage the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to include efforts to find effective, affordable contraceptives in their research and to continue providing services on the full range of effective contraception methods
  • Recognize that information and assistance for women and families interested in healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies can enhance maternal and child health and improve the chances of survival of women and children

Gender Equality:

  • Provide $165 million to combat gender-based violence, a $15 million increase from FY19
  • Provide $15 million for combatting child marriage, a $4 million increase above FY19
  • Provide $15 million for organizations that support women and girls at risk from violent extremism and terrorism
  • Provide $10 million for the Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, which works to empower women and girls around the world through U.S. foreign policy
  • Provide $11.5 million for UN Women, a $1 million increase over FY19
  • Ensure Afghan women’s meaningful inclusion in political and peacebuilding processes
  • Urge USAID to prioritize investment in girls’ education
  • Call for development assistance data to be disaggregated by sex and for the State Department to conduct gender analysis


Additional Priorities:

  • Fully fund the $3.3 billion commitment for security assistance to Israel
  • Provide $265 million to help implement the Women’s Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment Act, by supporting micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises that benefit the poor, especially women.
  • Provide $2.4 billion for democracy programs and $180 million for the National Endowment for Democracy
  • Provide $925 million for International Basic Education, $125 million increase from FY19
  • Provide $850 million for USAID to promote maternal and child health, a $50 million increase over FY19
  • Provide $36 million for the State Department’s Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons, which leads the U.S.’s global engagement against human trafficking
  • Encourage USAID-Israel cooperation in developing countries in the areas of water resources, agriculture and energy storage

Now that the legislation has passed out of committee, it will be brought to the House floor for a vote. Once the Senate passes its own bill, appropriators will reconcile the differences to then send the result to the President’s desk for a signature.



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