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Bush Administration Signals Zero for UNFPA . . .Other Nations Should Follow


July 22, 2003

Volume 5/ Number 20

Dear Colleague:

Following the vote against the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Bush administration signaled it does not intend to fund UNFPA in 2004.

During the floor debate, many Members of Congress eloquently reminded the world of the evils of China’s coercive population program, and of UNFPA’s continued support of that program.

The United States takes coercive population control seriously, and will not fund UNFPA. Other nations around the world should follow suit.

Steven W. Mosher

President

PS – For a small tax-deductible donation to the good work of Population Research Institute, I’ll send you a special gift. Details below!

Bush Administration Signals Zero for UNFPA . . .

Other Nations Should Follow

At the State Department’s regular news briefing, July 18, 2003, State Department official Dan Boucher signaled the administration’s intention to zero-fund UNFPA for next year. On the U.N. Population Fund, Boucher said, we strongly opposed… $50 million of unrequested funding for the UNFPA in each of fiscal years 2004, 2005. We were pleased and encouraged when the earmark that had been added during committee markup was deleted on the House floor by the Smith Amendment. The Smith Amendment on UNFPA makes the bill language consistent with the administration’s family planning policy. Boucher added: As you know, the Kemp-Kasten amendment has specifically precluded U.S. funding of UNFPA under certain circumstances. And last year we made a determination that assistance to China supported birth-limitation programs that are coercive. And so those conditions still apply.(1)

This announcement followed last week’s 216-211 vote in the U.S. House of Representatives to restore Kemp-Kasten. The win also prevented $50 million in unauthorized funds from going to UNFPA in 2004.

Leading off the debate prior to the vote, Congressman Christopher Smith

(R-NJ) boldly defended Kemp-Kasten, describing it as one of America’s core anti-coercion law[s].

Smith, along with many others, reminded the chamber of Secretary of State Colin Powell’s finding that, ‘UNFPA’s support of and involvement in China’s population planning activities allows the Chinese government to implement more effectively its program of coercive abortion.’

Rebutting false claims that UNFPA is helping to reform China’s coercive population planning program, Smith declared that, just 10 months ago a sweeping, comprehensive reiteration of China’s Draconian population control program went into effect in all of China. Sadly, the new law is as harsh, brutal, and violent as ever.

Smith also reminded his colleagues of UNFPA’s cover of China’s one-child policy. [T]he executive director of the UNFPA said, ‘The UNFPA firmly believes, as does the government of the People’s Republic of China, that their program is a total voluntary program.’ Madam Chairman, that is unmitigated nonsense and that is a lie.

Republican Todd Akin of Missouri recalled how in China in 1979-80 I was amazed with the delivery rooms, the fact that women were being forced to have abortions. Those were the better-equipped delivery rooms. The other delivery rooms had buckets full of water, and the unwanted children were simply drowned. Congressman Akin recalled how Stanford University wanted to suppress my findings, and how I refused to be quiet… and how The American people found out about coerced abortions.

And Congressman Joseph Pitts (R-PA), rising in strong support of this amendment to restore Kemp-Kasten, recalled PRI’s September 2001 investigation of UNFPA’s model county program in Sihui. Witnesses have testified in the Committee on International Relations that the UNFPA shares office space in one Chinese county with the Chinese Office of Family Planning. That is the very same agency carrying out these coercive practices. And after these revelations, did the UNFPA change its ways? No. Instead, it claimed ignorance…. Make no mistake about it, UNFPA is in bed with Beijing on forced abortions, and if we fund UNFPA, Beijing gets stronger.

The UNFPA has been proven to be an active participant in China’s coercive population program, said Congresswoman Jo-Ann Davis (R-VA). By funding UNFPA, we are permitting women in China to be victimized through this policy of forced abortion and involuntary sterilization. Certainly these women deserve better than that. No woman, no woman should be forced to have an abortion. Yet this is precisely how the Chinese government enforces its population control agenda, with the assistance of UNFPA.

Congressman Mike Pence of Indiana reminded the House that UNFPA’s official in Beijing, Sven Burmeister actually called China’s population control policies ‘a gift to mankind.’ It is barbarism at its worst. I stand, therefore, in strong support of the Smith-Oberstar-Hyde amendment. It is not time to back up on fundamental human rights protections.

Congressman Steve King of Iowa stated that, An organization’s mere connection to and support of a tyrannical government’s overall population control infrastructure is compelling enough evidence that they should not receive funding. Organizations that, wittingly or unwittingly, directly or indirectly, support the population control systems of a nation that forces a woman to undergo an abortion or takes away a woman’s availability to have a child have no business receiving U.S. tax dollars.

And closing the debate, the Honorable Henry Hyde of Michigan said that We have all agreed that the Chinese population control program is coercive and, therefore, violative of human rights. We ought to stay a thousand miles away from anything that facilitates that. And yet this money that we give to the population control fund facilitates the Chinese program.

Once again, the United States has taken the lead in opposing coercion in population control programs, in China or anywhere else.  The United States will not fund UNFPA.

Now other nations should follow suit.

Endnotes

1. FDCH TRANSCRIPTS, Federal Agency, State Department Holds Regular News Briefing, July 18, 2003.

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The Wall Street Journal called this book Fascinating . . . A Mother’s Ordeal bears witness to the terror that can accompany daily life in today’s China.

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