HOUSE COMMITTEE TURNS BACK PRO-ABORTION MEASURE TO FUND UNFPA
Autor: Samuel D. Hensley
DC (LifeNews.com) -- Members of the House Appropriations Committee voted against a measure that would have funded the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) because it has been charged with supporting China's population control program that includes forced abortions and sterilizations.
Members of the committee voted 32-26 against the amendment, offered by pro-abortion Rep. Nita Lowey, a New York Democrat. Her measure would have forced President Bush to release $25 million in UNFPA funding for the next fiscal year.
Congressman Todd Tiahrt (R-KS), who is pro-life, led the charge to defeat the amendment. He said there was no way for Congress to track the money once it went to the United Nations -- some of it could end up in China.
President Bush has withheld funding from the U.N. agency each year since he was elected, because of the Chinese connection.
Steven Mosher, the president of the Population Research Institute said that, by refusing to allow the UNFPA funds, "the Committee in effect criticized China's forced abortion regime and the organization that supports it."
The Bush administration sent officials from the State Department to review the situation in China and determine if the UNFPA is complicit in the coercive population control program.
After the fact-finding team returned, Secretary of State Colin Powell said China "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, China's population-planning activities allows the Chinese government to implement more effectively its program of coercive abortion," Secretary Powell explained. "Therefore, it is not permissible to continue funding UNFPA at this time."
Lowey's amendment would have nullified the Kemp-Kasten law, a 19 year-old provision that prohibits the United States from providing taxpayer funds to any program that engages in coercive population control policies.
"The committee was right to reject [the funding]," Mosher concluded. "Why should the U.S. abandon its human rights principles to support an organization that refuses to withdraw from a program of forced abortion?"
Voting pro-abortion, in favor of funding the UNFPA were Reps. Sanford, Boyd, Clyburn, Cramer, DeLauro, Dicks, Edwards, Farr, Frelinghuysen, Hoyer, Jackson, Kaptur, Patrick Kennedy, Kilpatrick, Kirk, Lowey, Moran, Obey, Olver, Pastor, Price, Rothman, Roybal-Alard, Sabo, Serrano, and Visclosky.
Voting pro-life, against funding the UNFPA, were Reps. Aderholt, Berry, Bonilla, Crenshaw, Cunningham, Doolittle, Emerson, Goode, Granger, Hobson, Istook, Kingston, Knollenberg, Kolbe, Latham, Jerry Lewis, Mollohan, Nethercutt, Northrup, John Peterson, Regula, Rogers, Sherwood, Simpson, Tiahrt, Vitter, Walsh, Wamp, Dave Weldon, Wicker, Wolf, Bill Young.