On Monday, the State Department announced that it would discontinue U.S. funding for the United Nations Population Fund, an international organisation that provides reproductive healthcare and works to ensure healthy, planned pregnancies in over 150 countries.
According to Reuters, the State Department said in a letter to U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker that it was cutting funding because the UNFPA "supports, or participates in the management of, a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilisation."
The cut is Donald Trump's first move to halt funding to the United Nations, and comes two months after Trump reinstated the global gag rule, which cut U.S. funding to global organisations that provided abortions or even abortion counselling.
In a statement to its website, the UNFPA said that it regrets that the U.S. has chosen to end its funding over the "erroneous claim" that the organisation supports or participates in coercive abortions or involuntary sterilisation in China.
The organisation also stated that in 2016, with the help of U.S. funding, it was able to help prevent 295,000 unsafe abortions as well as preventing 947,000 unintended pregnancies.
In a statement shared with Refinery29, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards denounced the move to cut funding for an organisation that provides essential reproductive healthcare.
"Around the world, we've made strides to bring down maternal mortality and prevent unintended pregnancy, and we know that reducing access to family planning will reverse those gains and put women's lives at risk," Richards said. "With each dangerous policy, President Trump is confirming the worst fears of the millions of women who marched and organised after the election. If this administration were truly committed to empowering women, they would support organisations that help women and girls to live healthy lives."