August 10th 2002

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: The future of the Australian Democrats

Latham steals limelight from lacklustre ALP

New Zealand Labour forced into new coalition

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Rob the Builder / Mayhem in Lilliput / Fear of wages

ECONOMY: New agenda needed to address social breakdown

WA Liberals' new policy positions

Could India help in Afghanistan? (letter)

Clerical scandals: another view (letter)

Families now a luxury (letter)

COMMENT: Stalin's heirs live on ... in Australia

BIOETHICS: American stem cell expert to visit

UNITED STATES: Why Bush ended funding for UN population control agency

LAW: International Criminal Court decision to dog government

BOOKS: Our Posthuman Future, by Francis Fukuyama

BOOKS: The Price of Motherhood, by Ann Crittenden

SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Shirley Nolan: a case for euthanasia?

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Why Bush ended funding for UN population control agency

by Babette Francis

News Weekly, August 10, 2002
President Bush is withholding $34 million in US tax-dollar support from the militantly pro-abortion UN Population Fund - UNFPA. This money will be channelled instead worldwide through the USAID programs not involving abortion.

The decision has predictably outraged the liberal left. Over 30 liberals in Congress have written to President Bush, decrying his decision and demanding an overturn; they want to meet with him in person to express their indignation.

Pro-abortion advocates such as Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, are accusing him of caving in to the demands of radical right-wing fanatics, at the expense of human suffering on the part of women all around the world.


However, Population Research Institute President Steve Mosher applauded the decision of the Bush administration to cut US funding for the UNFPA, pursuant to the Kemp-Kasten Amendment which prohibits US funds from going to groups that support forced abortion and non-voluntary sterilisation.

Mosher was the first American social scientist permitted to conduct field research in China, and first documented Chinaa's one-child policy of forced abortion.

Last September, he launched an independent investigation of UNFPA's program in China. The victims of forced abortion in UNFPA's program in China stated without exception that coercion is as bad as ever in the history of the one-child policy.

PRI investigators returned from China with audio-videotaped and photographic evidence showing the following:

  • In an abortion facility, a nineteen-year-old woman says she is too young to be pregnant according to the family planning policy. As she is receiving a non-voluntary abortion in an adjacent room, her friends say that she indeed desires to give birth to her child, but the law forbids it.

  • A victim of forced sterilisation says women who wish to bear additional children are forced in for abortions. Punishment for attempting to escape forced abortion includes destruction of homes. Right now things are very strict, she says.

  • A woman whose home was destroyed for hiding her pregnancy says she knows many other women whose homes have been destroyed for hiding their pregnancies. Consequences include crippling fines, imprisonment of relatives and destruction of relatives' homes. The whole family was arrested, a relative of this woman states. Everything in the house was stolen by district family planning officials.

  • In a model residential area, a woman says: "We have to have [our IUD] checked four times a year. The birth control workers come and tell you it's time." Whether the birth control work is done well affects how much money the village birth control workers get, another witness states.

Both the Chinese State Family Planning Commission and the UNFPA state in writing that they work together in this program. More than two-dozen victims and witnesses said that coercion, only coercion and nothing but coercion, exists in this UNFPA county program in China.

The Kemp-Kasten Amendment was originally enacted in 1985 in response to the UNFPA's extensive involvement in China's coercive program. In 1985, the Reagan Administration determined that UNFPA was in violation of the law.

That determination was challenged in a federal lawsuit by the Population Institute, a US advocacy group receiving substantial funding from the UNFPA.

Appeal upheld

In 1986, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld the cutoff. In a ruling written for a unanimous three-judge panel, Judge Abner Mikva upheld the Reagan Administration determination that "the UNFPA's activities in China aid the aspects of China's program that Congress condemned."

The Clinton Administration essentially refused to enforce the Kemp-Kasten anti-coercion law. Nevertheless, the law has been renewed each year by Congress, and it flatly prohibits funding of any organisation that either (1) "supports" or (2) "participates in the management of" a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilisation.

Possibly the last straw for the Bush Administration was when China attempted to coerce the Chinese wives of Taiwanese men to adhere to the one-child policy, even though many of these women could have migrated to Taiwan.

It is to be hoped that the European Union, facing its own demographic disaster of a "birth dearth", will also cease funding for the UNFPA and its own domestic family planning agencies.

  • Babette Francis is the National & Overseas Co-ordinator of Endeavour Forum Inc., an NGO with special consultative status with the Economic & Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations and has presented several pro-life workshops during UN conferences.

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