House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: Fund UNFPA Despite Forced Abortion Concerns
by Steven Ertelt
June 3, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Tuesday that taxpayers should be forced to fund the UNFPA even though it has been shown to work closely with Chinese population control officials who subject women to forced abortions and involuntary sterilizations.
The Bush administration had withheld taxpayer funding from the United Nations Population Fund because reports showed it supporting the coercive family planning program in China.
Perhaps hundreds of thousands of women, their partners and families have been subjected to forced abortions, imprisonment and human rights abuses for violating China’s limit of one baby per couple.
Despite the UNFPA-China links, the administration of President Barack Obama announced in March that it would send $50 million in taxpayer funds to the agency.
In comments on Tuesday at a press conference following her visit to China, Pelosi defended the funding.
I don’t think we should stop funding the U.N. Population Fund, Pelosi said, according to a CNS News report. My knowledge of the fund is that it does not support abortion in China.
I think its very, very important that we support the population fund, Pelosi added, according to CNS, and said that she had voted for funding for the pro-abortion agency over and over again.
Pelosi’s support came despite the latest State Department report, dated February 25, that confirms that China still subjects its citizens to abuses.
"The government continued its coercive birth limitation policy, in some cases resulting in forced abortion or forced sterilization," it said.
Rep. Chris Smith, a New Jersey Republican and the pro-life leader in Congress, tried to offer an amendment to revert the language in a Congressional bill to the original ban on such funding but House Democrats blocked him from doing so.
Then, pro-life Sen. Roger Wicker offered a similar amendment but the Senate defeated it.
Meanwhile, Wicker questioned Melanne Verveer, Obama’s pro-abortion nominee for Ambassador at Large for Womens Global Issues, about the UNFPA.
Verveer indicated that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did not rely on the UNFPA loophole and instead reinterpreted the Kemp-Kasten law to say it had no impact on the UNFPA funding.
"A determination was made by the secretary of state and predicated on the facts as they were presented about the role of UNFPA that it does not meet the threshold [prohibiting funding to groups that back forced abortions]," Verveer said.
"It does not fund or support organizations that are supportive of coerced abortions or manage programs dealing with coerced abortions," Verveer added.
Verveer claimed the UNFPA has few programs in China and "they have done significant work in trying to get the Chinese to reduce abortions and eliminate this practice."
However, the Bush administration found such a link between the UNFPA and forced abortions.
It determined that UNFPA provides financial support to Marie Stopes International, a British abortion business which turned around and sent the U.S. taxpayer funds to support to the Chinese population control agency that enforces the coercive birth limitation policy.
Regardless of how it was approved, abortion advocates are already saying $50 million is not enough money.
Led by pro-abortion Rep. Louise Slaughter, they are asking for even more money in the next budget Congress will consider.
In a letter to the chairman and ranking members of the Foreign Operations Subcommittee, Slaughter and three other members of the House asked for an increase of $530 million for family planning efforts and a boost to $65 million for the UNFPA.
"We respectfully request that you increase international family planning assistance funding by $530 million from last year’s level, including a total of $65 million for the United Nations Population Fund in the Fiscal Year 2010 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Act," the letter says.
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