January 11, 2002
Volume 4/ Number 2
Today President George W. Bush signed the Foreign Aid Bill into law. This bill contains $34 million in funding for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which supports and funds coercive abortion and coercive sterilization in China. But if the President does the right thing, the UNFPA will never see a penny of this money. As the annual March for Life approaches, it is critical that Americans flood the White House comment lines (202-456-1111 and 202-456-1414) with calls urging President Bush to exercise his executive authority and zero-fund the UNFPA because of its involvement in forced abortion and forced sterilization.
Steven W. Mosher
The Case Against UNFPA Funding
The UNFPA has repeatedly been caught promoting abortion and sterilization under circumstances where informed consent is lacking, and even outright coercion is involved.
Over the past two years, PRI has obtained evidence that:
1) UNFPA supports and funds coercive abortion, coercive sterilization and
destruction of homes with jackhammers in China, and seeks to cover up these abuses;
2) UNFPA supports coercive sterilizations in Peru, and seeks to cover up
3) UNFPA promotes chemical and manual suction abortions in Kosovar refugee
camps, and in Kosovo, at the expense of the health and informed consent rights of Kosovar women, and sought to cover up this promotion of abortion;
4) UNFPA promotes chemical and manual suction abortions in Afghan refugee
camps in Pakistan at the expense of the health and rights of traumatized refugees.
UNFPA supports coercive abortion and coercive sterilization in China:
An independent PRI investigative team, studying a UNFPA so-called “model county” program in China between Sept. 27-30, 2001, documented through interviews, recorded on audio and video-tape, that voluntary family planning in the Sihui County UNFPA program does not exist.(1)
The team was told by victims and witnesses of coercion that, contrary to claims made by UNFPA, Chinese law forbids women from freely determining the timing and spacing of pregnancies. It documented that this UNFPA-supported program included age requirements for pregnancy, birth permits, mandatory and coercive use of IUDs, coercive abortion, coercive sterilization, fines, imprisonment, and the destruction of homes and property for non-compliance.
PRI investigators interviewed:
Â· Three women in a local abortion facility, who were there to accompany a
friend then undergoing a non-voluntary abortion. PRI asked the women if their friend would like to keep her baby. “Oh, yes,” they all replied, “But the law forbids it.”
Â· A recent victim of forced sterilization who stated that punishment for
non-compliance with a government sterilization or abortion order includes the destruction of homes by family planning officials.
Â· A victim who testified: “I was four and a half months pregnant. They
wanted me to report to the hospital for an abortion but I refused to go. I went into hiding in my mother’s village. Then my brother, my older sister and my younger sister were all arrested. I had no choice but to go somewhere else to hide…. They arrested three people in my mother-in-law’s family and destroyed three homes.”
The team was told by Chinese Family Planning officials that there is no distinction between UNFPA’s work in this county and their own. Chinese officials showed PRI investigators the UNFPA office desk, which is located within the local Chinese Family Planning Office.
PRI’s investigative team also obtained information suggesting that coercive abortion and coercive sterilization was occurring in two other UNFPA “model county” programs in China: Jianou, Fujian Province, and Kuerle, Xinjiang Province.
On October 17, 2001, video- and audio-taped evidence of coercion in this UNFPA county program was presented before the House Committee on International Relations. At this hearing the Chairman of the Committee, Congressman Henry Hyde (R-IL), stated that “This evidence suggests that the same harsh reality still prevails in this so-called model county that has long prevailed throughout China. The only difference appears to be that coercion is now cloaked behind the rhetoric of voluntarism, shielded from criticism by yet another international seal of approval.”(2)
Congressman Christopher Smith (R-NJ), Vice Chairman of the International Relations Committee said: “Today, we will hear testimony that demonstrates that China still abuses its people in a massive way with forced abortion, and the testimony will show that UNFPA backs these abuses.”(3)
Congressman Joseph Pitts (R-PA) stated: “In good conscience, the United States simply should not fund the UNFPA while it is funding and actively promoting China’s abhorrent and oppressive population control program.”(4)
UNFPA’s reaction to the evidence presented at this hearing was to engage in a cover up. An in-house junket to China resulted in an eight-page “Mission Report,” which described a Oct. 22-26, 2002, visit by UNFPA employees and associates to Beijing, Guangzhou, Sihui county and Quinjiang City, Hubei Province. During the five days UNFPA employees spent in China, meetings, banquets and barbecues with Chinese officials were the order of the day. Only 30 minutes were spent on “household visits” which, conducted in the presence of Chinese officials, revealed nothing about the true state of affairs in China’s population control program. In the absence of unsupervised contact with ordinary Chinese, UNFPA employees could not accurately assess the state of the one-child policy in China even if they wanted to.
UNFPA’s “Mission Report” presents no credible evidence to support UNFPA’s claim that only voluntary family planning exists in the “model county” program.
PRI’s investigative report, “UNFPA, China and Coercive Family Planning,” presents first-hand evidence from over two dozen victims and witnesses of coercion, as well as from government officials, that UNFPA directly support coercive abortion and coercive sterilization in China.
UNFPA supports coercive sterilization in Peru and seeks to cover it up:
In January 1998, PRI investigators in Peru documented widespread abuses of forced sterilization in so-called “ligation festivals” that were being held throughout the country. Congressional testimonies of victims and witnesses of coercion helped lead to the passage of the Tiahrt Amendment, which forbids US funds from going to USAID population control programs that are not truly voluntary.(5)
In December 1999, a team of PRI investigators presented to Congress the following evidence of abuses in Peru(6):
Â· Beatriz Quechaes, 34, was given Depo-Provera during pregnancy in
violation of informed consent provisions. After her miscarriage, she was told she was “too stupid” for Depo-Provera, taken off that drug and put on oral contraceptives. She did not want to take the pill but had been told that if she refused she would be sterilized.
Â· Inocencia Quechaes Ayupari, 19, at the time of the interview was
pregnant and was being pressured by hospital staff to become sterilized after delivery.
Â· Anatolia Gayilles De La Cruz, 46, had been experiencing pain because of
the presence of an IUD that had earlier been inserted against her will. This IUD was finally removed in 1999, but only after she agreed to use Depo-Provera instead under threat of sterilization.
Â· Alicia Munoz Valez, 34, was told by medical staff she needed a caesarian
delivery, and that this would be provided gratis if she would agree to sterilization following delivery. The promised free caesarian section was clearly meant as an inducement to accept sterilization. She said yes, but she and her husband were nonetheless charged for the delivery following the birth of her baby in mid-November 1999. Alicia is still battling an infection contracted at the time of the operation.
Â· Elena Amporia Sales, 43, testified that she was pressured to become
Â· Maria Lopez, 26, a young medical worker/administrator at a Peruvian
Ministry of Health sub-post, testified that family planning services are determined by targets and quotas.
Â· Javier Chavez, 24, a young medical student close to completing his
studies, said that he and other medical promoters receive gifts for obtaining the most family-planning clients in a month.
Â· The Peruvian ombudsman reported instances of death after recent coerced
Despite these abuses, UNFPA continues to work hand-in-glove with family planning cadres in Peru.
In August of 2000 UNFPA published an internal report of its own investigation of family planning practices in Peru, which concluded that coercion (what it euphemistically called “family planning decisions made external to the person”(7)) exists in Peru. The report was never publicly released. Instead, UNFPA continued to promote Peru’s coercive family planning program, and went into denial when the existence of the report was later discovered by the press.(8)
UNFPA distributed abortion devices among Kosovar refugees and sought to cover it up:
During the spring and summer of 1999, PRI launched three separate investigations of UNFPA operations among the Kosovar population.
PRI associate researcher Josipa Gasparic located the headquarters of UNFPA in Pristina, Kosovo. She interviewed over a dozen Kosovar women about UNFPA’s so-called reproductive health services. She reported that “Women in Kosovo have rallied against what they are calling the ‘White Plague’ of the UN Population Fund’s ‘reproductive health’ campaign, [which is] designed to reduce their progeny at the behest of the indicted war
PRI was told by Yugoslavian officials that UNFPA operations in Yugoslavia consisted solely of efforts to reduce the Kosovar birthrate.
UNFPA obtained photographic evidence showing UNFPA “reproductive health” kits marked “for safe deliveries” actually included chemicals for abortion, manual vacuum aspirators (MVAs), and outdated IUDs (CU 375 IUD) lacking the mandatory information sheet on safe removal procedures. PRI’s lead investigator was told by officials of the local Planned Parenthood facility that manual vacuum aspirators were being used to perform
Two previous PRI investigations of UNFPA operations in Kosovar refugee camps uncovered documentation showing that UNFPA had collaborated with the government of Yugoslavian dictator, Slobodan Milisovic, later indicted for
UNFPA distributing abortion devices among starved Afghan refugees:
On November 8, 2001, PRI was informed by medical personnel in Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan that UNFPA was providing abortion chemicals and manual vacuum aspirators used for abortions to Afghan refugees traumatized by hunger, war and displacement.
On November 23, 2001, the Pakistan News Service (PNS) released the findings of its independent investigation of UNFPA operations in Afghan refugee camps in the border town of Chaman, Pakistan.
“The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is distributing abortion devices and chemicals, disguised in kits marked for safe delivery, in Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan, a survey conducted by PNS at a refugee camp in border town of Chaman revealed,” PNS reported.(12)
“Early reports confirm that war-traumatized refugees, approached by UNFPA workers pandering abortion services, wander away quickly. And a few brave refugees in an attempt to protect their female population and progeny have confiscated abortion pills provided by UNFPA.”
An elderly Afghan refugee told PNS investigators: “I have informed the authorities concerned about the distribution of pills among the women, but no action has so far been taken in this regard.”
UNFPA operations among a traumatized population raises serious concerns about lack of informed consent and coercion.
(1)“UNFPA, China and Coercive Family Planning,” An Investigative Report by Population Research Institute, December 12, 2001.
(2)“Coercive Population Control in China: New Evidence of Forced Abortion and Forced Sterilization,” Hearing of the House Committee on International Relations, October 17, 2001.
(5)“Cutting the poor: Peruvian sterilization program targets society’s weakest,” PRI Special Report, Lima, Peru, January, 1998.
(6)“Peru’s Coercive Family Planning Programs,” Congressional Briefing, 14 March 2000.
(7)“Study on the Quality of Reproductive Health and Family Planning offered by Agencies of the Ministry of Health,” UNFPA, Lima, Peru, August 2000.
(8)“Milosevic and the ‘UN Butchers’: UNFPA’s ‘Reproductive Health Campaign Dubbed ‘White Plague’ by Kosovars,” Josipa Gasparic, PRI, Pristina, Kosovo, August 19, 1999.
(9)“The Kosovo File,” PRI, August 1999.
(11)“U.N. Secret: Population Plan Still Abuses Women in Peru,” National Catholic Register, 12.16.01-12.22.01.
(12)“UNFPA distributing abortion devices among starved Afghan refugees,” Pakistan News Service, November 23, 2001, http://paknews.com/specialNews.php?id=212&date1 = 2001-11-22.