Congressional Panel OKs Bill De-Funding Pro-Abortion UNFPA

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 5, 2011   |   5:55PM   |   Washington, DC

A House committee today approved legislation that yanks millions from the UN organization that has been shown to be involved in supporting China’s population control efforts and has promoted abortion globally.

Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers, of North Carolina, introduced the bill to stop $40 million in annual funding for the UNFPA agency after voters said they wanted the legislation and voted it as a priority in the House Republican YouCut program.

“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,” she said this summer. “And I am very excited to be part of this program and each week we will have more cuts coming forward.”

The House Foreign Affairs Committee favorably reported out the bill, H.R. 2059, and Ellmers was joined by Reps. Chris Smith and others in making the case for terminating U.S. contributions to this organization, complicit in China’s one-child policy, which sees women subjected to forced abortions and sterilizations.

Smith, a new jersey Republican who has long been the pro-life leader in the House of Representatives, pointed to a Bush administration report showing the UNFPA linked with the one-child-policy as reason enough to revoke U.S. taxpayer funding.

John Negroponte, Deputy Secretary of State, stated in a June 26, 2008 State Department determination denying U.S. funds to the UNFPA that “all UNFPA programming related to contraception and reproductive health incorporates, and defers to, Chinese law and regulation. The national law and the provincial regulations are a framework for China’s coercive birth policies.”

Smith said today after the vote:  “I strongly support H.R. 2059 sponsored by Renee Ellmers and thank her for standing up for the women and children in China. China’s one child policy is state sponsored cruelty and constitutes massive crimes against humanity. The Nuremberg Nazi war crimes tribunal properly construed forced abortion as a crime against humanity—nothing in human history compares to the magnitude of China’s 32 year assault on women and children.”

“Since 1979, brothers and sisters have been illegal in most of China. If a woman is caught pregnant without explicit government authorization to give birth, she is forced to abort. Unwed mothers are all compelled to abort,” Smith explained. “Handicapped unborn children, if discovered, are killed by the state. Ruinous fines—up to ten times the combined salary of both parents—jail, torture, property confiscation, loss of employment, education opportunities, housing and health care are all weapons aggressively used by the family planning cadres to ensure compliance.”

“No wonder over 500 Chinese women commit suicide each day in China,” Smith said.

If approved by the full House and Senate, the legislation would result in cutting the funding President Barack Obama put in place for the UNFPA. 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

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 thank them for supporting this legislation to de-fund the UNFPA.