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USAID Accuses Abortion Group of Collusion with Coercive Government, Denies Funding

Front Royal, VA, 10/02/08 – USAID’s Assistant Administrator for Global Health Dr. Kent Hill has banned cooperation with UK-based Marie Stopes International (MSI), one of the worlds largest purveyors of abortions. Hill says that MSI is complicit in "coercive abortion and involuntary sterilizations" in China. The pro-life group Population Research Institute, headed up by China expert Steven W. Mosher, has publicly applauded this decision.

The USAID instruction will force cutbacks in MSI’s population control programs in a number of African countries, including Ghana, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and Kenya. MSI claims that women in these countries "will be left with few options other than abortion." This is laughable, coming as it does from the very agency that is responsible for many of the abortions that are performed in Africa in the first place. MSI also denies that it supports China’s coercive policies, even though it aggressively promotes abortion and collaborates with China’s one-child policy.

In addition to this, PRI’s Steven Mosher says that "for MSI to claim, as it does, that Dr. Hill’s order will result in ‘unsafe abortions’ with the ‘likely result’ of women’s ‘death or disability’ is not only a gross exaggeration, but should be taken as self-criticism." He cites the Reagan-era Kemp-Kasten amendment, which prohibits foreign aid from flowing to any organization that "supports or participates in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization". Mosher, who worked closely with Reagan administration on the law’s passage in the mid-eighties, concludes that "it is not the Bush Administration’s fault if African women and girls die in MSI’s clinics, it is the fault of the organization itself."

Mosher also refers to PRI’s previous investigations in China, which discovered the UNFPA’s involvement in forced abortions and forced sterilizations in China. This led the Bush administration to invoke Kemp-Kasten and cancel the $34 million appropriated by Congress for UNFPA in fiscal year 2002. Each year thereafter this prohibition has been extended, because of UNFPA’s continued flagrant involvement in the most coercive population control program the world has ever known.

"The Bush Administration is to be congratulated for its consistent enforcement of a policy that is supported by the vast majority of the American people," says Mosher. "Marie Stopes International needs to decide what its purpose is: performing abortions, often in violation of national laws, or providing legitimate health care to women."

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