Dems Moving to Fund UN Agency That Aids China’s One-Child Policy
July 29, 2008 - 4:51 AMIf a Democrat is elected president in November, Congress probably will resume direct funding of the United Nation’s Population Fund, a program that has been supportive of China’s coercive “one child” policy.
President Bush has redirected funding for the program every year since 2001. Earlier this month, a congressional committee voted to approve $60 million for UNFPA, and that appropriation is expected to land on the desk of the next president after he is inaugurated in January 2009.
“Every time Democrats take back the White House, they continue to fund these population control programs that they euphemistically call ‘family planning,’” Steven Moore, a Wall Street Journal editor and an expert on UNFPA, told CNSNews.com on Monday. “Obama has said he is pro-abortion, and so I think it’s likely that the U.S. will continue its support.”
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the Republican presidential candidate, has campaigned as pro-life and presumably would oppose U.S. funding for UNFPA.
Many conservative organizations and the State Department under the Bush administration have found that UNFPA has supported China’s “one child” population control policy. The policy restricts many couples to one child and has been linked to forced abortions and sterilizations for violators.
“We have documented their [UNFPA’s] complicity in the management of the one-child policy in China and the coercive sterilizations in Peru,” Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, told CNSNews.com in a statement on Monday. “No U.S. funds should go to any organization involved in abortions and sterilizations the way the UNFPA is.”
State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher told reporters in July 2002 that he also believed UNFPA was involved in “coercive programs.”’
“After careful consideration of the law and all the information that’s available, including the report from the team that we sent to China in May, we came to the conclusion that the U.N. Population Fund monies go to Chinese agencies that carry out coercive programs,” Boucher said at the time.
With the connection between UNFPA and the “one child” policy established, President Bush has regularly redirected the money that Congress appropriated for UNFPA to the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Child Survival and Health Programs Fund.
“I said we're not going to use taxpayers’ money to fund abortion, and I’m going to make sure we're not using taxpayers’ money to fund abortion,” Bush told the press on March 22, 2002 in response to a question about his decision to freeze the UNFPA funding.
The "one child" policy was introduced by Chinese communist officials in 1979. Enforcement and some exceptions to the policy vary at the provincial level.
Mosher told CNSNews.com in June that the "one child" policy has prevented around 300 million births since its introduction in 1979.
But according to UNFPA’s official Web site, its purpose is to combat HIV, maternal mortality, provide reproductive-health services, contraceptives, promote women rights, and prevent coercive abortion.
On July 16, a House Appropriations subcommittee allocated $60 million for UNFPA, a $20 million increase over last year’s allocation. The move that was hailed by some women’s rights organizations.
“Chairwoman [Nita] Lowey (D-N.Y.) and the members of the foreign operations subcommittee recognized the importance of U.S. participation in UNFPA’s solutions to some of the world’s most intractable problems,” said Anika Rahman, president of the liberal Americans for UNFPA, in a statement. “Moreover, they began the process of paying back the $235 million Congress has allocated but the Bush administration withheld for the last seven years.”
The Senate Appropriations Committee has passed a foreign operations bill with a $45 million allocation to UNFPA.
In an ordinary year, the bills including the UNFPA funding would go to President Bush for approval, but because of partisan strife in the closely divided Congress, many 2009 appropriations bills will likely be delayed until after the election.
According to Americans for UNFPA, the United States currently is the only country in the world that can afford to contribute to UNFPA but does not do so -- “for reasons that are political and not financial,” the group says on its Web site.
See Earlier Stories:
Advocacy Groups Look to Next President to Fund UN Population Body (1 July 2008)
Chinese Disobey 'One-Child' Restrictions (8 Jan. 2008)