Obama Urged Not to Fund UNFPA After Chinese Woman Escapes Forced Abortion
by Steven Ertelt
November 19, 2008
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Now that the woman in northwestern China who was six months pregnant has escaped a forced abortion, pro-life advocates are restarting their plea for incoming president Barack Obama not to fund the UNFPA.
They say the United Nations agency supports the family planning program that placed Arzigul Tursun in jeopardy in the first place.
As LifeNews.com reported Tuesday, Tursun was released from a hospital where she had been held captive awaiting a planned forced abortion. Chinese officials admitted the abortion would jeopardize her health and let her go.
Now leading pro-life advocates are pointing to the incident and the UNFPA’s proven involvement in China’s coercive one-child policy as a reason to continue de-funding the group as President Bush has done.
In total, Bush has revoked $240 million in taxpayer funding for the pro-abortion group since 2002, but Obama has pledged to renew annual payments to the group.
Rep. Chris Smith, a New Jersey congressman who led the efforts to lobby Chinese officials to release Tursun, says the incident makes it clear the UNFPA has done nothing to stop China from engaging in forced abortions.
To forcibly abort a woman while the world watches in full knowledge of what is going on would make a mockery of [Beijings] claim that the central government disapproves of the practice, and of the U.N. Population Fund pretense that it has moderated the Chinese population planners cruelty, Smith said.
Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, also commented on the ramifications of the incident.
Perkins told LifeNews.com that, if Obama carries through on his promise to fund UNFPA, "America will no longer be an innocent bystander of tragedies like this one. Instead, the U.S. will be knowingly funding forced abortions like Arzigul’s with millions of taxpayer dollars."
He urged pro-life advocates to contact the future Obama administration and urge strong opposition to the funding.
Steven Mosher, the president of the Population Research Institute, says he is well aware of the link between the UNFPA and the forced-abortion one-child policy in China.
"We know. It was the Population Research Institute whose investigation in China led the Bush administration to cut off funding to the UNFPA for the past seven years," he said. "We have continued to monitor the situation in China, and we stand by our assertion that the UNFPA was–and is–involved in coercive abortions in China."
PRI’s original report, entitled "UNFPA, China, and Coercive Family Planning," is based on an investigation conducted by PRI researchers in China’s Sihui County.
Relying on interviews with over two dozen victims and witnesses, the 2001 investigation found that coercive abortion and sterilization practices were taking place in that county where the UNFPA had supposedly instituted a "client-centered and voluntary family planning program."
"In fact, PRI’s investigation revealed that the UNFPA shared an office with the very Chinese family planning officials who were locking up women and carrying out forced abortions," Mosher said.
Mosher, too, says Obama must recant on his promise to fund the controversial United Nations agency.
"It would be a shame if Obama abandons both the women of China and one of his most high-profile backers in the name of the failed ideology of population control," he said.
"Americans don’t want their money going to an organization–the UNFPA–which works hand-in-glove with China’s population control police as they drag women off for forced abortions and forced sterilizations. In protecting American taxpayers from having to fund such atrocities, President Bush made the right call," Mosher concluded.
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