The Trump administration announced Monday that it is cutting off funding to a UN agency that has been credibly accused of promoting forced abortion, particularly in Communist China, under the guise of “family planning.”
The State Department said it was stopping the flow of taxpayer dollars to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) “based on the fact that China’s family planning policies still involve the use of coercive abortion and involuntary sterilization, and UNFPA partners on family planning activities with the Chinese government agency responsible for these coercive policies,” reported CNSNews.com.
The administration maintains that continuing to bankroll the UNFPA is illegal under the 1985 Kemp-Kasten amendment, which prohibits federal funding for any agency that “supports or participates in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization.”
This marks President Donald Trump’s second such action to defund nongovernmental organizations that promote abortion. One of his first executive orders reinstated the so-called Mexico City policy, which states that U.S. tax dollars cannot be used to perform or promote abortion overseas.
As with the repeated enactment and repeal of the Mexico City policy, applying Kemp-Kasten to the UNFPA tends to vary with the party of the man in the White House. Republican presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush both defunded UNFPA. President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, restored funding, only to see it stanched again under President George W. Bush, a Republican. Democratic President Barack Obama once more reinstated it; in fiscal year 2016, the UNFPA got nearly $68 million from the State Department.
According to the Associated Press, “The U.N. fund will lose $32.5 million in funding from the 2017 budget, the State Department said, with funds shifted to similar programs at the U.S. Agency for International Development. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the U.N. fund would also lose out on tens of millions of additional dollars it has typically received from the U.S. in ‘non-core’ funds.”
In a statement, the UNFPA said it “regrets” the loss of funding, which it averred is based on an “erroneous claim.” The agency added that it “refutes this claim, as all of its work promotes the human rights of individuals and couples to make their own decisions, free of coercion or discrimination.”
The press release was, however, noticeably short on evidence to refute the claim, perhaps because the evidence of the agency’s culpability is irrefutable.
For instance, two successive UNFPA heads are on record as having extolled China’s longstanding one-child policy (now a two-child policy), which frequently results in coerced abortions, noted CNSNews.com:
“China has every reason to feel proud of and pleased with its remarkable achievements made in its family planning policy and control of its population growth over the past 10 years,” UNFPA executive director Nafis Sadik of Pakistan told the Xinhua news agency in April 1991.
“China made some outstanding achievements in a very short time and fulfilled its commitment to the world,” she said. “The UNFPA is going to employ some of these [Chinese demographic] experts to work in other countries and popularize China’s experiences in population growth control and family planning.”
Ten years later Sadik’s successor, Thoraya Obaid of Saudi Arabia, also praised China’s policy, according to a March 2001 report in China’s People’s Daily.
The admiration, by the way, is mutual. “As recently as December of 2010,” we noted, “the Vice-Minister of the communist dictatorship’s ‘National Population and Family Planning Commission’ thanked UNFPA for ‘its constant support to China’s population and family planning undertakings during the past thirty years and more.’”
We reported on a 2012 congressional hearing that featured testimony from Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, which opposes federal funding of population-control programs.
“The U.N. Population Fund has been complicit in China’s one-child policy from the first, not merely turning a blind eye to abuses, but facilitating them in various ways,” Mosher said, basing his remarks on a three-year investigation into the matter. “This is nowhere more clearly demonstrated than in the U.N. Population Fund’s ‘model county program,’ where UNFPA trained officials oversee the enforcement of the one-child policy, and where abuses are rampant.”
UNFPA is known to have provided computers and other equipment that helped the Chinese government carry out its policy. In 2002, when the Bush State Department stopped funding UNFPA, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell said, “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.”
The John Birch Society (JBS), publisher of The New American, applauded the Trump administration’s decision to cease funding the UNFPA.
“Withdrawal of funding for the UN Population Fund is a good start, and this action helps to reflect the foundation that JBS members have spent many years building regarding getting the U.S. out of the United Nations. Never have we been closer to seeing that fulfilled,” said JBS Vice President for Communications Bill Hahn. “Now is the time to do more than end funding for one aspect of the UN It’s time to completely withdraw.”