Posted by: Jayme | November 25, 2008

Will the US go back to funding China’s one child policy?

For the last seven years, the United States has refused funding for the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA), which has long been one of the “chief apologists and cheerleaders” for China’s one-child policy.  This policy has led to countless forced abortions and sterilizations of Chinese women.  If it’s been a while since you’ve heard about it, you may have assumed that it was a thing of the past.  Unfortunately, an international news story I wrote about yesterday pointing out a forced abortion of a family’s (gasp) third child shows just how present this problem really is!

Critics of the Bush administration have blamed his “ultra right wing advisers” for his refusal to sign off on funding for the UNFPA each of the seven times that congress approved it.  However, as Steven Mosher points out in an excellent article on Catholic Exchange, it was then-Secretary of State Colin Powell who in 2002 wrote a letter to congress stating that the, “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.”  Colin Powell is one of the best-known supporters of Obama’s bid for the presidency.

Other supporters of Obama’s have been pushing him to sign off on the funding.  On November 12th the UNFPA launched their annual State of the World Population Report.  At the accompanying press event Democratic Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney reminded reporters – and the incoming administration that,

“Six times under Bush, the House of Representatives and the Senate passed funding to continue the critical work of the UNFPA.  President Obama will have to do nothing but let the will of Congress go through.”

Even so, many hope that this latest Chinese scandal will make the President Elect’s transition team think twice.  Congressmen Chris Smith and Joe Pitts, who contacted Chinese officials to protest the forced abortion mentioned above, said in their joint statement this week:

“As Members of Congress, we continue to urge the US government to do everything possible to end human rights abuses in China, including withholding funds from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) until they divest themselves from providing support to the agency that carries out China’s abusive population control program.”

Hopefully, they are not the only members of Congress to say so.

Update: The Huffington Post just got this story EXACTLY WRONG, as chronicled by a CE post by PRI.

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