Time to End Funding for UNFPA Over Forced Abortions in China

International   |   Bill Saunders   |   Sep 21, 2011   |   6:47PM   |   Washington, DC

In August, Vice President Joseph Biden delivered remarks in China stating that he was not “second-guessing” China’s one-child policy: “Your policy has been one which I fully understand—I’m not second-guessing—of one child per family.”[1] While Biden and the White House later tried to backpedal from those comments, actions taken by the Obama administration actually lend taxpayer support to it, through U.S. contributions to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which is complicit in China’s coercive one-child policy.

This past spring, cutting federal funding to the UNFPA won the American people’s vote in the first round of the YouCut program, started by Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va).  In response, Representative Renee Ellmers (R-NC) introduced legislation to prohibit U.S. taxpayer dollars from going to the UNFPA.

The bill states: “Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of State may not make a contribution to the UNFPA.”  China’s one-child policy is an inhumane and egregious attack on women and has resulted in a decrease in China’s population by as many as 400 million people.[2] By prohibiting federal funding of the UNFPA, Congress would ensure that American taxpayers are not supporting coerced abortion and the abuse of women in China.

The State Department has documented the UNFPA’s support of coercive population control.  In 2002, after a fact-finding mission in China which found that China has in place a regime of severe penalties on women who have “unapproved” births, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell stated: “The UNFPA’s support of, and involvement in, China’s population-planning activities allows the Chinese government to implement more effectively its program of coercive abortion.”[3]

Because of the UNFPA’s support for, and participation in, China’s brutal policy forcing women to have abortions, the U.S. has long withheld funding to the UNFPA.  Consistent with the Kemp-Kasten amendment, previous administrations have denied all funds to the UNFPA.  However, on March 11, 2009, President Obama reinstated funding to the UNFPA.  Since this date, $145 million in taxpayer funds ($40 million in FY11) have been allocated to the UNFPA.  President Obama’s reinstatement of funding to the UNFPA contradicts the position of the majority of Americans who oppose being forced to support abortion, and underscores the Administration’s failure to protect human rights.

Advocating to prohibit funding of the UNFPA, Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights stated:

“Since 1979, brothers and sisters have been illegal in China as part of the barbaric one child per couple policy. And for 30 years, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has vigorously supported, funded, defended, promoted, even celebrated these massive crimes against humanity….At issue today is an amendment that was filed and printed in the Congressional Record but not offered a few minutes ago that compels the American taxpayer to furnish $55 million to the UNFPA—an organization that has unapologetically stood not with oppressed women but with the oppressors of women; an organization that has made the Chinese killing machine more efficacious and lethal; an organization that has systematically whitewashed and defended these crimes against humanity.”[4]

Representative Smith—who has chaired countless hearings on the human rights abuses taking place in China—will chair a Hearing on Thursday on  “China’s One-Child Policy: The Government’s Massive Crime Against Women and Unborn Babies.”

It is time to expose, and to end, the grave injustice of forcing U.S. taxpayers to fund an organization that supports the cruel and barbaric policy of coercing women to abort their children.

[1]  See https://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2011/08/biden-under-fire-for-not-second-guessing-chinas-one-child-policy/ (last visited September 21, 2011).

2 See https://townhall.com/tipsheet/danieldoherty/2011/09/20/one-child_policy_cost_china_nearly_400_million_people (last visited September 21, 2011).

3 Republican Study Committee, Amendments Made in Order under the Rule (H.Res. 316) for the Foreign Relations Authorization Act (H.R. 1950), dated July 15, 2003 (quoting letter from Secretary of State Colin Powell to Sen. Byrd, dated 21 July 2002), available at https://rsc.jordan.house.gov/UploadedFiles/LB71503A.pdf (last visited Aug. 30, 2011).

4 See https://chrissmith.house.gov/UploadedFiles/2011_02-17_Speech_on_UNFPA_Funding_in_HR_1_Cong__Record.pdf (last visited September 21, 2011).