Democrats Shut Down Pro-Life Move to Stop UNFPA-Forced Abortion Funding

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 25, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Democrats Shut Down Pro-Life Move to Stop UNFPA-Forced Abortion Funding

by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 25
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — Democratic Party leaders in the House of Representatives shut down an attempt by a leading pro-life congressman to fix a budget bill that authorizes funding to a group that has supported forced abortions in China. Rep. Chris Smith hoped to amend the omnibus budget bill to strip UNFPA funding.

As has reported, the appropriations bill Congressional Democrats put forward to fund the federal government through the end of the years restores funding to the United Nations Population Fund.

Not only is UNFPA funding approved, Democrats increased it from $40 million to $50 million for the year and went further by weakening the Kemp-Kasten law that prevents forcing taxpayers to fund groups that back forced abortions.

Smith, a New Jersey Republican, offered an amendment to restore a consistent application of Kemp-Kasten for all organizations the federal government funds, including the UNFPA.

The Smith amendment would have closed the loophole Congressional Democrats put in the Omnibus Appropriations Act (H.R. 1105) that explicitly requires funding for UNFPA notwithstanding any provision of law such as Kemp-Kasten.

However, member of the House Rules Committee passed a close rule guiding debate on the bill that prevents Smith from getting a debate and vote on his amendment in the full House.

Smith also wanted to offer an amendment to limit international family planning funds to those organizations that certify that they will not perform abortions or lobby for the legalization of abortion.

That would have the effect of reversing President Barack Obama’s decision to overturn the Mexico City Policy and force taxpayers to fund groups that promote and perform abortions overseas.

However the Rules Committee shot down that potential amendment as well.

Sending taxpayer dollars to the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, has been controversial because the group both advocates for abortion and has been involved in China’s population control program.

Several investigations have shown the UNFPA to work hand-in-hand with the family planning officials in China that enforce its coercive one-child policy with forced abortions and sterilizations as well as other human rights abuses.

Every year during his presidency, President Bush withheld tens of millions in taxpayer funds from the UNFPA, but Congressional Democrats, with a friend in Barack Obama in the White House, have restored the funds.

The omnibus bill adds language that makes it so the president or his administration is not required to sign off on the funding and make sure the UNFPA is not violating the Kemp-Kasten law which forbids funding groups involved in forced abortions.

The language causes a concern for pro-life advocates because it ties the hands of future presidents who want to limit UNFPA funding because of its involvement in China’s forced abortion population control program. As a result, pro-life advocates may have to approve new language in a future bill for a future pro-life president to withhold the money in the manner Bush did.

The new language also goes much further than merely exempting the UNFPA from the Kemp-Kasten law. It is so broadly worded that the UNFPA will receive funding notwithstanding the operation of any provision of law.

As a result, even if the UNFPA were to violate provisions of law unrelated to abortion, it would still receive funding.

He said as much in his statement concerning his executive order to overturn the Mexico City Policy and make taxpayers fund groups that perform and promote abortions overseas.

ACTION: Contact your members of Congress and urge them to oppose funding the UNFPA and its pro-abortion activities. You can find contact information at or call 202-224-3121. Ask themto oppose HR 1105 because of it.

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