LifeSite News

A presentation to the United States Congress on the complicity of the United Nations Population Fund in coercive family planning programs in China has U.S. lawmakers reconsidering funding for the organization. The controversy over UNFPA funding came to a head in November when the entire $15-plus billion foreign aid bill stalled in conference committee. The foreign operations appropriation (HR 2506) currently includes $37.5 million for the UNFPA.

In September, a Population Research Institute-led investigation of UNFPA operations in China revealed that UNFPA supports China’s one-child policy of coercive abortion and sterilization. At a hearing of the House Committee on International Relations, PRI presented first-hand evidence of video taped testimonies obtained in China of victims of forced abortion and sterilization in a UNFPA county program. In addition, PRI’s investigative team obtained photos showing the destruction of homes and properties by family planning officials armed with jackhammers as punishment for non-compliance with China’s one-child policy.

In order to secure their funding, UNFPA’s executive director, Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, has sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and to members of Congress attacking PRI’s investigation in China. Attached to the letter is a report on UNFPA’s own subsequent in-house investigation of China’s family planning program, which that agency claims clears it of any wrongdoing. PRI obtained a copy of the UNFPA letter and “mission report.”

PRI commented on the UNFPA mission report, saying it “presents no credible evidence to support its claim that voluntarism exists in its country program in Sihui, or anywhere else in China. The report simply repeats assertions made by Chinese officials that coercion has been eliminated, and targets and quotas lifted, in Sihui county. The Chinese officials who make these assertions have every reason to put the best face on the family planning programs that they supervise, especially when they come under scrutiny. They are not unbiased observers, but interested parties.”

From information contained in the UNFPA report, PRI reveals that, “Of the five days total that the UNFPA delegation spent in China, over half was spent in Beijing, in meetings, banquets and barbecues with Chinese officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the State Family Planning Commission. During half-day visits to Sihui county, Guangdong Province, and Qianjiang, the delegation was accompanied by Chinese officials from the national, provincial, prefectural, municipal and county governments. They went on guided tours of several family planning clinics, and spent only 30-minutes on “household visits.” Faced with a phalanx of officials, no villager is going to utter the slightest criticism of family planning policies, or any other government policy for that matter. The risk of doing so would be too great.”