Restore funding to United Nations Population Fund

The Trump administration’s action to bar aid to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has nothing to do with standing up for human rights for women in China, or anywhere else. It is yet another attack on reproductive freedom (“Dems press Trump to restore family planning funding,” April 11). And their pathetic effort to claim otherwise is undercut by their own actions.

Like his imposition of the global gag rule during his first days in office, President Trump’s decision to cut off support to the UNFPA will strip people in the poorest parts of the world of the reproductive healthcare they so desperately need. Even beyond that, it will stifle efforts to improve the status of girls, to end forced child marriage and to provide safe delivery services to refugees. Perhaps Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson can explain how reducing access to care in Syria will help a single Chinese girl? Or how taking birth control from a mother in Haiti will?

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What his actions will do, however, is cause more suffering and more maternal deaths. Supporters of his policies often claim his actions will “end abortion.” They’re wrong and they should know it because there is clear evidence that his actions will, in fact, cause a dramatic increase in unsafe abortion.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen Jeanne ShaheenSavings through success in foreign assistance Overnight Cybersecurity: Mueller impanels grand jury in Russia probe | Researcher who helped stop WannaCry attack detained | Audit finds OPM systems still at risk Senators advance bill to train small business counselors in cybersecurity MORE (D-N.H.) introduced the Global HER Act to permanently repeal the global gag rule and protect family planning funding. Her colleagues in the Senate and House should pass it. 

From Brian Dixon, senior vice president for media and government relations at Population Connection Action Fund, Washington, D.C.


Democrats must be included in infrastructure planning

Infrastructure is an issue that has bipartisan support; it should be of concern to all that Democrats were left out of the initial meetings and planning with Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao (“Republicans rush to help shape Trump’s infrastructure plan,” April 6). To have one party rush it without including the other will not be helpful. From the beginning, both parties need to be included — our legislators need to show constituents that they can work together, at least on this one issue.

The U.S. has an urgent need to upgrade and maintain its infrastructure. The positive  impact to the economy will be felt by many in the short term as many people will be put to work and on a long-term basis as the whole U.S. economy will benefit from an improved and efficient infrastructure, and GDP will grow as a result.

We need to be careful about placing artificial deadlines, such as  “90-day” — some projects will be ready to start in a short time, but considering that this bill is to include a great number of works from small to very large projects such as airports, train stations, ports, bridges and highways, they need to have enough time to start.  The states, counties and municipalities need time to prepare their priorities, planning, design and bid preparations.

The infrastructure project is very important for the U.S., and our politicians from across the political spectrum need to work together and think about how to pay for it, without causing major problems in the future.

From Felix E. Telleria, Weston, Fla.