House OKs Spending Bill With UNFPA-Forced Abortion Funds, Abstinence Cuts
by Steven Ertelt
February 26, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The House of Representatives wasted little time in approving the Omnibus Appropriations Bill to fund government operations for the rest of the 2009 fiscal year. The bill contains language restoring taxpayer funding of the United Nations Population Fund, which supports China’s forced abortion program.
The measure, H.R. 1105, contains language that would restore the money President Bush withheld from the UNFPA because of its abortion activities.
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 bill was brought to the House floor under a closed rule that prohibited pro-life Rep. Chris Smith, a New Jersey Republican, from submitting amendments to either stop funding the UNFPA or restore the Mexico City Policy that Obama rescinded.
The House adopted the rule and then passed H.R. 1105 by a vote of 245-178.
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.
Not only has the funding been restored, but Congressional Democrats boosted the amount from $40 million to $50 million.
The Democratic spending plan also cuts total funding for abstinence education by $14.2 million, compared with the previous year.
The cuts are seen as the first step by abortion advocates in Congress to zero out all abstinence education funds through the Community-Based Abstinence Education (CBAE) program, the Adolescent Family Life Act, and through Title V.
Democrats cut the CBAE budget by 13%, leaving only $95 million to fund national programs to help teenagers make healthy choices for a positive lifestyle.
Anti-abstinence activists applauded the cut and said they expected pro-abortion President Barack Obama to zero out all abstinence funding.
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