United Nations Abortion Funding

I penned an article for ChronicallyBiased tonight, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to get posted until tomorrow. Basically, the Houston Chronical had an editorial today that said Bush was going it along and refusing to give money to the UN that was already promised. Like a lot of liberal media lately, they left out half of the facts, so I filled readers in. Here’s the article; once it’s posted to ChronicallyBiased I’ll update this post.

An editorial in The Houston Chronicle today accuses Bush of “going it alone” and shortchanging UN Programs. Is this entirely true? Of course not, it’s the Chronicle.

This is basically a tug-of-war over money promised to fund worldwide family planning, and whether pro-abortion activists should get the funding over an alternative non-abortion program. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), not satisfied with the $2.2 billion that Bill and Melinda Gates donated in 1999, wants another $34 million dollars from the US Government.

Here’s the background that the Chronicle did not cover: On August 1985, Congress passed the Kemp-Kasten Amendment to a foreign aid appropriations bill that says in part:

None of the funds made available in this bill nor any unobligated balances from prior appropriations may be made available to any organization or program which, as determined by the President of the United States, supports or participates in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization.

In other word, no funding to organizations that might result in coerced abortions. Reagan and Bush Sr. determined that under this rule, the UNFPA was ineligible for funds due to the UNFPA activities in China where abortions are coerced to maintain smaller family sizes. Clinton in 1993 resumed funding, basically saying that the UNFPA was never implicated in the coerced abortions.

The Chronicle wants you to believe this stretch of the truth:

Wishing to nurture support among Americans opposed to abortion, the administration links the U.N. Population Fund to China’s mandatory population controls. The opposite is true. The United Nation’s family planning efforts reduce the number of forced abortions and sterilizations.

Here is what the US State Department actually said:

The team found no evidence that UNFPA has “knowingly supported or participated in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization in the PRC.” The team found that, notwithstanding some relaxation in the 32 counties in which UNFPA is involved, the population programs of the PRC “retain coercive elements in law and in practice.” The team noted a system of extremely high fines and penalties imposed on families that exceed the number of children per family approved by the government. In this connection, even if UNFPA did not “knowingly” support or participate in such a program, that does not mean that the Kemp-Kasten restriction would not be triggered, since that restriction does not rest on a finding of legal intent to fund the coercive program. The restriction is triggered if the recipient “supports or participates in the management or a program of coercive abortion” (or involuntary sterilization).

President Bush has “continuously called on China to end its program of coercive abortion” and has “repeatedly urged China and the UN Population Fund to restructure the organization’s programs in a way that would allow the United States to provide funding,” according to the US State Department.

So did the UNFPA go without funding? Hardly. Two days after the State Department announced it was withholding funding, the European Union offered the UNFPA €32 million to compensate. And the $34 million pledged to family planning and reproductive health? The full $34 million was provided to the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to “offer a broad array of voluntary family planning methods, including contraceptives, natural family planning, information about the delay of sexual activity (abstinence), the delay of first birth for married teens, and linking it to the “ABC” initiative (abstinence, being faithful, and condom use) when appropriate.” In other words, everything but abortion.

When one realizes that those for funding the UNFPA’s funding include Planned Parenthood, Salon.com, National Organization of Women, and the Sierra Club, yet opposed by US Conference of Catholic Bishops and pro-life organizations, it becomes abundantly clear that this is merely an attempt to get the US government to fund abortions worldwide.

Update: Link is up on ChronicallyBiased