House Appropriations Committee struck a blow against coercive population control programs. By refusing, 32 to 26, to refund the UN Population Fund, the Committee in effect criticized
A little reported aspect of the recent US decision once more to withhold funding from the UN Population Fund was the Fund’s refusal to ask China to end coercion in family planning. This according to a recently released report from the US State Department.
Until the release of the report, it was not widely known that the Bush administration had been actively engaged with UNFPA in order to make its program consistent with US human rights law, or that UNFPA had declined to adopt the US recommendations. According to State Department spokesman Richard Boucher, “We also have repeatedly urged China and the UN Population Fund to restructure the organization’s programs in a way that would allow the United States to provide funding..However, since no key changes have taken place, these [funding] restrictions are being applied again.”
The State Department report says that UNFPA has not even asked that China “eliminate coercive ‘administrative’ or ‘disciplinary’ punishments” against women, “thus continuing to reflect UNFPA’s support for China’s coercive program.” [Friday Fax, 30July04]
Even Sec of State Colin Powell, after reviewing info provided by PRI [Population Research Institute], concluded [21Jul02] that “the PRC has in place a regime of severe penalties on women who have unapproved births. This regime plainly operates to coerce pregnant women to have abortions in order to avoid the penalties and therefore amounts to a ‘program of coercive abortion.'” “…UNFPA’s support of, and involvement in,
Dongfan Ma was forced to have an abortion in China and now lives in the United States in freedom: “Through this denial of UNFPA funds by President Bush and supported by a bipartisan group of US Congressional Representatives, conscience and human nature will triumph over barbaric policies imposed on families in China.” The 26 yes votes [in favor of UNFPA funding] included Cramer; the 32 no votes [against UNFPA funding] included Aderholt. [Steven W. Mosher PRI Weekly Briefing