Bill De-Funding Pro-Abortion UNFPA Gets Hearing Next Week

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 29, 2011   |   1:41PM   |   Washington, DC

Legislation that would cut federal taxpayer funding for the pro-abortion UNFPA agency will get a hearing in a House committee next week, after Republicans put forward the bill following a vote from people saying they wanted it.

Spurred on by a public vote in which pro-life advocates said cutting funding for the pro-abortion UNFPA agency was their top desire, Congressional Republicans filed legislation over the summer to yank millions from the UN organization.

Rep. Renee Ellmers, of North Carolina, introduced the bill and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a pro-life Florida Republican, has announced a markup of H.R. 2059 will take place Wednesday.

“This is going to save American taxpayers $400 million dollars over a 10 year period and it’s just another part of what we’re doing here in Washington to cut wasteful spending that we see happening,” Ellmers said in a video introducing the bill. “And I am very excited to be part of this program and each week we will have more cuts coming forward.”

The legislation would result in cutting the funding President Barack Obama put in place for the UNFPA, an agency that promotes abortion and works hand-in-hand with family planning officials in China enforcing the one-child, forced-abortion policy.

After Obama restored the funding, Rep. Chris Smith tried to offer an amendment to revert the language back 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.

Leading pro-life advocates have urged votes for de-funding the UNFPA ,including Steve Mosher, the head of the Population Research Institute and the leading campaigner exposing China and the one-child policy. He says the UNFPA is the UN population control agency that is complicit in China’s brutal one-child policy, which is carried out through a program of coercive abortion and involuntary sterilization.

Research from the United States and British governments, along with a first-hand report from the group Population Research International, has shown UNFPA officials working side-by-side their Chinese colleagues and going as far as sharing the same offices.

Bill Saunders of Americans United for Life has also argued in favor of cutting funding to the United Nations Family Planning Agency.

“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,” he said. “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.”

Since fiscal year 1985, a policy known as “the Kemp-Kasten Amendment” has been included in every foreign aid appropriations bill.  Kemp-Kasten specifies that funds may not be “made available to any organization or program which, as determined by the President of the United States, supports or participates in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization.” Citing Kemp-Kasten, Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush cut off funding to the UNFPA from 1986 to 1993.

President Bill Clinton resumed funding for UNFPA at the beginning of his presidency, but signed a foreign aid appropriations bill for FY99 that zeroed out funding for UNFPA.

Citing Kemp-Kasten, President George W. Bush cut off funding to UNFPA for fiscal years 2002-2008.  In 2008 Secretary of State Colin Powell explained the reason for withholding funds saying, “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. Therefore, it is not permissible to continue funding UNFPA at this time.”

In January 2009, President Barack Obama announced that funding for the UNFPA would resume without any rationale demonstrating that UNFPA had ceased all cooperation with the Chinese population control program.  From FY09 through FY11 $145 million has been appropriated for UNFPA.  (FY09 – $50 million, FY10 – $55 million, FY11 – $40 million).

ACTION: Contact members of the committee here and urge them to support this legislation to de-fund the UNFPA.