by Steven Ertelt
September 11, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — President Bush has once again decided to withhold funding from a United Nations agency that is involved in the forced abortion campaign officials in China use to curb its population. This is the sixth year the Bush administration has said the U.N. Population Fund wrongly backs the one-child policy.
Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte sent a letter to Congress on Thursday alerting lawmakers to the decision.
Congress had decided to spend $34 million on the UNFPA program, but Bush revoked that funding under the federal law, called Kemp-Kasten, that allows the president to remove taxpayer funding from any group that promotes forced abortions.
Because the UNFPA has a history of supporting the program, which has been criticized by human rights and pro-life groups for its forced abortions and sterilizations, President Bush said taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to fund it.
His decision has come under fire from pro-abortion Rep. Nita Lowey, a New York Democrat who chairs the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations in Congress.
"Once again, common sense policy has been replaced with nonsense," she claimed in a reaction to the decision.
The decision came at the end of last week and on the heels of a 48-45 vote in the Senate for reauthorizing the Kemp-Kasten law and defeating an attempt by pro-abortion Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont to overturn it.
The law has protected taxpayers from backing forced abortion programs since 1985.
"I commend the Senate for refusing to participate in such atrocities against vulnerable women and their children in the developing world," Deirdre McQuade, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, told LifeNews.com about the vote. "At the same time, it is disconcerting to think that this was considered debatable at all – and that the vote was so close."
Lowey put language in the State Department bill on the House side that would have made it more difficult for the Bush administration to deny UNFPA the funds by making it do more to prove the agency’s involvement in the China program.
But, in June, pro-life Rep. Dave Weldon, a Florida Republican, offered corrective language that removes the Lowey provision.
His amendment made it clear that “nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the authority of the President to deny funds to any organization by reason of the application of another provision of this Act or any other provision of law.”
ACTION: Thank President Bush for his actions by going to https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact.