Though not confirmed, pro-abortion groups are reporting that the United States State Department has released $50 million to the United Nations Population Fund, money that had been withheld for eight years by the Bush administration because of UNFPA complicity in China’s forced abortion program. The “Centre for Reproductive Rights” has praised President Barak Obama for the release of the funds and for living up to campaign promises.
Even if the CRR is wrong, it is only for the moment. What is certain is that the UNFPA will be re-funded, as money for UNFPA was included in the Omnibus Appropriations bill passed by both houses of Congress. In order for the UNFPA to be re-funded, however, the Congress had to come up with language that would place the agency outside consideration of what is known as Kemp-Kasten, which forbids U.S. money from supporting groups complicit in forced abortions. Though Congress had appropriated money for the UNFPA every year during the Bush years, it was contingent on the president certifying that the UNFPA was not complicit in the Chinese one-child policy, which has resulted in 50 million abortions, many of them forced.
The U.S. and the United Kingdom both sent investigators to China in the early 2000’s to determine if the UNFPA was complicit in the Chinese program. Both teams of investigators concluded that the agency did play a role in setting up the program, including technical assistance in devising computer tracking of Chinese women. The U.S. team concluded that the UNFPA did not knowingly support the Chinese program and urged the U.S. to begin refunding the controversial agency. The State Department, however, determined that the UNFPA was in violation of U.S. law and funding was halted.
UNFPA advocates complained that withdrawal of U.S. funds would result in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of women over the years. Putting aside the accuracy of such claims, in fact, the withdrawal of U.S. funds resulted in a dramatic expansion in the UNFPA budget. Foreign governments were quick to replace withdrawn U.S. funds many times over.
The UNFPA consistently denies it has anything to do with abortion, though evidence to the contrary is overwhelming. The agency’s lobbyists consistently haunt UN negotiations to ensure that abortion-supportive language is included in new documents, sometimes threatening governments with losing money if they disagree. The UNFPA intervened in Nicaragua’s legislature when it was considering banning abortion for any reason, a measure that eventually passed overwhelmingly. The UNFPA gave its annual highest award to the founder of China’s one-child policy and its personnel consistently praise the program.
UNFPA personnel have also been consistently hostile to Christian non-governmental organizations that lobby the UN. During the Cairo+5 negotiations in 1999, then-UNFPA chief Nafis Sadik invited a number of Muslim ambassadors to her office, where she berated them for working so closely with Christian NGOs.
Pro-abortion Congress-men are not going to be satisfied with the resumption of $50 million annually. A coalition of Democratic Congressmen has begun lobbying their colleagues to increase UNFPA funding to $530 million.
Austin Ruse is president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. This article originally appeared as C-Fam’s Friday Fax on March 20 and is reprinted with permission.