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China Frees Pregnant Mom, China Expert Still Wary

Front Royal, VA, 11/19/08 – Even though the young Chinese mother facing forced abortion was freed, Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, says don’t breathe a sigh of relief yet.

"As for Arzigul Tursun and her unborn baby," said Mosher, "the Chinese government has blinked—for now. But they are by no means safe from reprisals. Even if Tursun is allowed to continue her pregnancy to term, there is still the risk that her baby will be killed by lethal injection at birth, a not uncommon occurrence in China. Moreover, it is virtually certain that she herself will be sterilized at that time."

Arzigul Tursun, who is six-months pregnant, was scheduled to be given a lethal infection today that would have resulted in the death of her unborn child, according to the Uyghur Human Rights Project. She was allowed to return home unharmed, but only because the case had attracted international attention and widespread outrage.

Mosher praises U.S. Congressmen Chris Smith and Joe Pitts, who were among those who publicly condemned the actions by the Chinese government and called for Tursun’s release. However, says Mosher, the silence of the U.N. Population Fund, which has been actively supporting China’s one-child policy for many years, is deafening. "Despite the continued victimization of many women like Arzigul Tursun," says Mosher, "the UNFPA persists in providing support to the Chinese agency in charge of implementing this oppressive birth limitation policy."

"Even worse," he continues, "the U.S. taxpayer under President-elect Obama may very soon resume funding the UNFPA without any change in their behavior.

The US government has in the past withheld funding from the U.N. agency because of its complicity in China’s coercive population control program. A 2001 PRI investigation in China documented that forced abortions, forced sterilizations, and other abuses were occurring in China with the UNFPA’s foreknowledge and implicit consent. As a result, the U.N. agency has lost around $240 million in the years since, with President Bush annually invoking the Kemp-Kasten Amendment that denies funding for any organization supporting or participating in forced abortion or involuntary sterilization programs.

"UNFPA denies complicity in forced abortion in China," Mosher concludes. "Tell that to Arzigul Tursun. The UNFPA has been operating in China since 1979, and the barbarity of the Chinese population controllers continues apace."

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