Lobbying For Congressional Vote on UNFPA-Abortion Funding Heats Up

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 2, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Lobbying For Congressional Vote on UNFPA-Abortion Funding Heats Up

by Paul Nowak
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
July 2, 2004

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — As the time for President Bush to decide whether or not to fund the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) nears, increased publicity supporting the UNFPA has been observed by the Population Research Institute (PRI).

"A storm of pro-UNFPA propaganda has suddenly been unleashed, with articles appearing in The New York Times, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and other media outlets in recent days," said Steven W. Mosher, president of PRI.

Mosher explains that the "sudden flurry of activity" is due to an amendment population-control sympathizers in Congress will offer on July 9 to reinstate US funding of the UNFPA.

"This misbegotten amendment would put the U.S. back in the abortion business, even in China, where women have no right to refuse," said Mosher. "It should be opposed."

In his first days in office, President Bush reinstated the Mexico City Policy created by Ronald Reagan. Under it, taxpayer dollars are prohibited from funding organizations that perform or promote abortions in other countries.

In September 2003, Bush expanded the policy by also preventing family planning grants from any State Department agency to pro-abortion groups. Previously, the Mexico City Policy applied only to the USAID program.

As a result, taxpayer dollars were prohibited from going to UNFPA because of its involvement in China’s population control program, which includes forced abortions and sterilizations.

"For 25 years the UNFPA has been the chief international cheerleader for China’s one-child policy, lavishing upwards of $200 million in funding on the program, and bestowing prestigious awards on its architects," said Mosher.

"How can an agency that calls itself pro-choice, that brags about promoting ‘reproductive rights’, justify involvement with a government that sterilizes and aborts women against their will, and usurps the right of parents to determine the number and spacing of their children," Mosher explained.

Mosher adds that PRI has investigated some of the programs the UNFPA is supporting, and discovered several human rights abuses.

"Since 1998 the UN Population Fund has run ‘model family planning programs’ in 32 Chinese counties, where it claims that there are no forced abortions, no targets for sterilizations, and no quotas for childbirths. These counties are free, the UNFPA assured us, of the abuses which characterize the one-child policy as a whole," explains Mosher.

PRI’s investigation of such a "model family planning program" revealed "young women being ordered in for forced abortions, women facing arrest for the ‘crime" of being pregnant without permission, and homes destroyed for refusing to comply with abortion or sterilization orders.

As a result of the pro-life Mexico City policy, the Bush administration withheld $34 million from the UNFPA in 2002 and the same amount last year. President Bush has until July 15 to make a decision about the 2004 funds and the letter was sent to persuade Bush to change his mind.

In March, likely Democratic nominee John Kerry says the first action he will take as president is overturn the pro-life Mexico City Policy.

Former president Bill Clinton had canceled it during his eight years in office. President Reagan created it in 1984 and it had been in place until January 1993 when Clinton reversed it.