Bush Admin Urges UN Agency to Stop Promoting Abortion in China

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 23, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Bush Admin Urges UN Agency to Stop Promoting Abortion in China

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
June 23, 2005

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The Bush administration told a United Nations agency on Wednesday to stop its involvement in China’s population control program, which requires couples to have only one child and enforces the policy with forced abortions and sterilizations.

President Bush has withheld $34 million in taxpayer support for the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) because of its ties to the Chinese program, despite claims from UN officials that it doesn’t participate in it.

Kelly Ryan, deputy assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, told the UNFPA executive board that the China population control policies "demonstrate that the birth limitation program clearly has coercive elements in law and in practice."

"If UNFPA would stop giving the `seal of approval,’ I think we could move the ball along quite a bit more," Ryan said, according to an Associated Press story.

Ryan said President Bush wants China to stop punishing couples for unplanned births, forcing couples to use contraception and birth control, and to end the practice of requiring abortions for any physically or mentally handicapped unborn children.

According to AP, Ryan also said that the current Chinese one-child per couple program violates language in a 1994 UN platform adopted at the Cairo population and health policy conference.

China’s deputy U.N. ambassador Zhang Yishan took exception with Ryan’s request, according to AP, and said that his country accounts for 20 percent of the world’s population, but only 2.8 percent of the per capita income. As a result, the population control policies must continue, he claimed.

Without the one-child policy, China would have grown by 300 million people in the last 30 years, "which equals the entire U.S. population," he said.

Zhang asserted that his country’s policies conform to UN regulations and added that coercion is officially prohibited.

The Bush administration has sent two investigative teams into China to determine if the UNFPA has any role in promoting the one-child Chinese policy that has resulted in forced abortions and sterilizations and jail sentences for those who break the law.

After one of the investigations, Secretary of State Colin Powell wrote, "I determined that UNFPA’s support of, and involvement in, China’s population-planning activities allowed the Chinese government to implement more effectively its program of coercive abortion."

Sanctions imposed against violators of the policy include heavy fines, loss of employment, and threats and intimidation for families for those who exceed their child quota. Women have been forcibly aborted, men sterilized, and some jailed for years for violating the policies.

Last week, the House of Representatives voted against restoring the $34 million in taxpayer funding for the United National Population Fund because lawmakers say it is still involved in supporting and promoting China’s coercive population control policies.

On a 233-192 vote, the House rejected the attempt by pro-abortion lawmakers to attach an amendment to a State Department appropriations bill that would have sent the public funds to the UNFPA.

New Jersey Congressman Chris Smith, a Republican, was one of the leading opponents of the amendment.

"Despite being admonished to do otherwise on countless occasions, the UNFPA continues to be the chief apologist and enabler for past and ongoing crimes against humanity," Smith said. "Let’s not forget or be naive about the fact that in China today, brothers and sisters are illegal and children can only be born if, and only if, permission is granted by the state."

The UNFPA has proposed spending $27 million in China from 2006 through 2010.