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Chaos
11-07-05, 11:49 AM
Two articles, one liberal from the Post Gazette, one from the fiscally conservative Wall Street Journal:


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Editorial: Population politics / Bush caves in to critics of a U.N. program

Saturday, August 03, 2002

U.S. funding of the United Nations Population Fund for this year fell victim last week to an odd but ultimately lethal coalition of opponents. Given that the fund's work is entirely to the benefit of women and children of the world living in the most difficult circumstances, the Bush administration's craven cave-in to the program's opponents was shameful and should be reversed.

The fund, referred to as UNFPA, has worked since 1969 with the poorest women and children in some 142 countries of the world, supporting maternal and child health care, voluntary family planning, screening for reproductive tract cancers, promoting breast-feeding and preventing HIV/AIDS.

The Clinton administration provided it $21 million its last year. The Bush administration's budget proposal for UNFPA for this year was $25 million. Congress appropriated $34 million, which would have constituted 13 percent of UNFPA's $270 million budget this year.

Then opponents led by Republican Reps. Christopher H. Smith of New Jersey and Henry Hyde of Illinois cornered and killed the UNFPA fox.

Although UNFPA categorically does not advocate or fund abortions, the words "maternal health" and "voluntary family planning" in any program are red flags to anti-abortion groups. The leader of the opposition on that front was Human Life International, a Virginia-based group founded by the Rev. Paul Marx, a Benedictine priest.

Opponents such as the Population Research Institute, also based in rural Virginia, focused on UNFPA's program in China, drawing on opposition to improved U.S. relations with that country. The Chinese government admittedly has sometimes advocated coercive abortion and sterilization. But U.S., British and U.N. inspections of UNFPA programs in China have consistently verified UNFPA's strict adherence to a position of opposing those Chinese policies.

Another piece of the campaign to kill U.S. funding of UNFPA turned on the fact that its executive director is Dr. Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, the first Saudi Arabian national to head a U.N. agency.

Dr. Obaid holds a Ph.D. from Wayne State University. She distinguished herself by accepting -- as a Muslim woman -- an assignment from U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to go to Afghanistan in the days of the Taliban to lecture them about their mistreatment of women. Her position and her style somehow managed to offend the American opponents of UNFPA.

Apparently taking stock of the strength of anti-abortion, anti-China, anti-Arab and anti-U.N. elements, the Bush administration reneged on its own proposal to contribute this year to UNFPA's humanitarian programs. Another likely factor was the importance of these and other groups in the Republican Party's fund raising for the fall election.

UNFPA programs worldwide are very much worthy of American support. Canceling the important U.S. contribution to them was a cheap political act that should be reversed on an urgent basis.

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Population Politics
November 7, 2005; Page A20

Samuel Alito isn't the only nominee under attack by liberals for his record on abortion. So is Ellen Sauerbrey, President Bush's choice to be Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.

To be precise, Ms. Sauerbrey is under fire for supporting Mr. Bush's priorities at the United Nations, where the former Maryland legislator and gubernatorial candidate has spent four years as U.S. envoy to the Commission on the Status of Women. Among her alleged sins is that she supports the administration's decision to withhold $34 million from the U.N. Population Fund because some of the agency's contributions go to China's appalling forced-abortion policy.

The Population Fund is one of the principal cheerleaders of China's one-child policy, which has been enforced through fines, imprisonment, forced abortion, sterilizations and even, human-rights groups charge, infanticide. Several weeks ago Mr. Bush invoked a 20-year-old policy -- known as the Kemp-Kasten Amendment -- which prohibits federal funding of "any organization or program which supports or participates in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization."

One would think that women's organizations would applaud this decision -- and the appointment of an American woman who champions it. Mandatory limitations on family size and involuntary sterilizations hardly represent "reproductive freedom" or "a woman's right to choose." Instead, groups such as Planned Parenthood have protested that Mr. Bush is denying women access to reproductive health and family planning services. Planned Parenthood is also attacking Ms. Sauerbrey.

China insists that coercion is a thing of the past. But the senior China specialist at the U.S. Census Bureau told Congress in December that, "The evidence is clear that the one-child policy is still basic national policy, that it remains coercive and violative of human rights." Amnesty International continues to document abortions, sterilizations and infanticide inside rural hospitals. China also uses fines and "social compensation" penalties of up to four years of salary to punish one-child violators.

There are an estimated 40 million girls demographically missing in China as a result of its one-child policy. The Population Research Institute reports that the sex ratio of 117 boys to 100 girls is so out of balance that the Chinese government has initiated emergency programs to teach parents about the value of girls.

Representative Carolyn Maloney (D., N.Y.) has introduced legislation to release taxpayer funds for the Population Fund and give recipients a blank check on how to spend it. But it is Ms. Maloney and her allies who should be forced to defend the Population Fund's practices, especially its support for China's birth-control policy. The Fund has publicly praised the one-child policy as "the most successful family planning (sic) policy ever developed," and it once gave the Chinese government an award for the "effectiveness" of its population control.

American elites share the blame for this and other coercive population programs by instructing foreign leaders with the false Malthusian premise that people constrain economic progress. The notion of a "population bomb," so universally accepted in the 1960s and 1970s, has been thoroughly discredited.

The birth rate in developing countries like Mexico and India has plummeted to just over three children per couple today from about six in 1950. The major explanation for smaller family sizes, longer life expectancy, income gains and improved health and nutrition has been economic growth, not condom distribution or lower birth rates. Population stabilization is not a cause, but rather a consequence, of growth and prosperity. The Reagan administration had it right when it first stopped financing the Population Fund and declared that "capitalism is by far the best contraceptive."

As for Ms. Sauerbrey, her opponents' claims that she is a "crony" (for having run Mr. Bush's 2000 election campaign in Maryland) and "unqualified" are a smokescreen for their real gripe about the Bush Administration's decision to withhold money from the Population Fund. California Democrat Barbara Boxer recently managed to get a vote on Ms. Sauerbrey delayed in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where pro-choice Republican Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island is being lobbied hard to vote against her.

The principle that is most at stake here is personal freedom. We have seen in China the debasement of human dignity on a grand scale when population control is imposed by an authoritarian regime. Mr. Bush deserves credit for refusing to coerce American taxpayers into paying for it, and Ms. Sauerbrey deserves to be confirmed.

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Funny how certain little facts like the Fund praising China's 'method' of control slip through the cracks, eh?

To be fair, I highlighted three paragraphs from each article.

JasonF
11-07-05, 12:29 PM
Well, let's be sure what the actual facts are:

Restore Funding To UNFPA

09.27.04

The Senate is expected to vote in the next day on a provision that would call on the Bush administration to restore funding for UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, the only United Nations agency specifically devoted to providing adults and adolescents worldwide with family planning and reproductive health care services. In July, the Bush administration announced that it would withhold funding appropriated by Congress for the third year in a row.

President Bush has withheld U.S. funding claiming that since UNFPA operates in China, it tacitly supports coercive abortion and forced sterilization in violation of U.S. law. This law, the so-called "Kemp-Kasten" provision, is a vaguely worded prohibition that prevents U.S. funds from being used for coercive family planning practices. The law is so vague that the Bush administration has interpreted it two different ways first funding UNFPA in 2001 and then reversing its decision in 2002. The loss of U.S. funds more than 10 percent of UNFPA's annual budget has significantly reduced UNFPA's ability to provide desperately needed health care services to some of the poorest women in the world.

Millions of people benefit from UNFPA programs in more than 140 countries throughout sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific, the Arab states, Eastern Europe, and the Former Soviet Union. They are committed to ensuring that all those in need have access to reproductive health services, including birth control education and supplies, prenatal and obstetric care, and the prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS. UNFPA also works to end violence against women and to expand educational opportunities for people worldwide.

The China "excuse" is an old argument that far-right opponents of family planning and UNFPA have used to de-fund the entire UNFPA program. Ironically, while there is no disagreement that the Chinese government has a history of abhorrent practices that compromise the health and rights of women, UNFPA operates a very small program developed with the express purpose of moving China away from coercion and toward delivery of voluntary services to its people.

Promoting Human Rights and Voluntary Family Planning

As the most scrutinized UN program in the world, UNFPA's China program has been the subject of near constant monitoring by international human rights observers. Every investigation by a credible team including visits in recent years by teams from the United Kingdom, the United States, and the UN have confirmed that UNFPA is helping to bring positive change in China.

The three-person U.S. fact finding team, appointed by the president, found UNFPA to have no role in any coercion and recommended that the United States continue to fund the Agency. The findings by this team confirmed those of dozens of other monitoring teams that have seen the positive results of UNFPA's program a dramatic increase in voluntary services, increased attention to international standards of human rights, and a marked decrease in abortions. The British team, in fact, recommended increased funding for UNFPA's China program. They recognize the fact that if UNFPA were to abandon China, there would be no voice for human rights and would leave Chinese women vulnerable to a return to the horrendous abuses of the past.

Addressing Crises in Women's Health

UNFPA is one of the global leaders in efforts to eradicate obstetric fistula and the harmful practice of female genital mutilation (FGM). Fistula is a devastating childbirth injury in which tears form between the vagina and the rectum or bladder. It is fully preventable by having a trained medical attendant during labor and childbirth. Nearly non-existent in wealthy nations, it remains a dire threat in poor countries. UNFPA is working with other health care organizations to develop strategies to prevent and repair obstetric fistula. FGM is practiced in more than 20 countries in Africa and at least two million young girls are at risk of undergoing the practice every year. UNFPA is working with governments and nongovernmental organizations to bring about both cultural change and legal reform to end this horrific practice.

U.S. Funding Cut Has Devastating Impact

The loss of $34 million in 2002 and again in 2003 has caused UNFPA to cut programs across the globe. It is estimated that the elimination of U.S. support would likely result in an additional two million unwanted pregnancies, 800,000 abortions, 4,700 maternal deaths, 60,000 cases of serious maternal injury and illness, and more than 77,000 infant deaths each year. An urgently needed HIV prevention program for war-affected populations in Liberia and Sierra Leone is facing a cut of $400,000, dramatically reducing the ability of these countries' populations to protect themselves against yet even more death and destruction.

http://www.plannedparenthood.org/pp2/portal/files/portal/webzine/newspoliticsactivism/fean-040927-funding-unfpa.xml

I couldn't limit myself to three paragraphs. ;)

Chaos
11-07-05, 04:20 PM
but you apparently can limit yourself to a single biased website ;)

JasonF
11-07-05, 04:26 PM
but you apparently can limit yourself to a single biased website ;)

Attacking the messenger, are we? ;)

All kidding aside, poking around on the web, it seemed like the overwhelming preponderence of the evidence suggests that UNFPA is not involved in any coercive abortions. The Planned Parenthood site was the most concise and cogent discussion of the issue, so I linked to that one.

Chaos
11-07-05, 04:30 PM
the Fund isn't involved with coercive abortions; the countries they give money to are, namely China; the Fund seems to think their forced 'one-child policy' is great.

eh, if the Fund really wanted the US back as a donor, they'd either dump China or impose better regulations on who gets what; with the deficit riding higher, it could do some good to redirect that money until the UN gets it's priorities right.

Honestly, the UN is so messed up right now with some of the worst human rights violators on the commission for human rights, and now this, giving money for the Chinese to sterilize like this, its about time the US started witholding some funds until the UN changes its ways.

Forget the kidneys, hit 'em where it hurts - the pocketbook.

Jason
11-07-05, 05:15 PM
but you apparently can limit yourself to a single biased website ;)

In the future, please post from non-biased sources such as Fox News, Worldnetdaily, and Newsmax.

JasonF
11-07-05, 07:24 PM
the Fund isn't involved with coercive abortions; the countries they give money to are, namely China; the Fund seems to think their forced 'one-child policy' is great.

eh, if the Fund really wanted the US back as a donor, they'd either dump China or impose better regulations on who gets what; with the deficit riding higher, it could do some good to redirect that money until the UN gets it's priorities right.

Honestly, the UN is so messed up right now with some of the worst human rights violators on the commission for human rights, and now this, giving money for the Chinese to sterilize like this, its about time the US started witholding some funds until the UN changes its ways.

Forget the kidneys, hit 'em where it hurts - the pocketbook.

Well, when somebody has a policy we don't like, there are two options -- 1) fund the policies we do like and build a relationship so we can put friendly pressure on them to halt the practices we dislike (the carrot), or 2) freeze them out completely and tell them that they won't get our aid back until they halt the disfavored policy (the stick).

The carrot approach was President Reagan's response to apartheid, for example.

Red Dog
11-07-05, 07:49 PM
I voted for Sauerbrey for MD governor in '94 over Spendening. I still don't regret it. ;)

Chaos
11-07-05, 09:53 PM
In the future, please post from non-biased sources such as Fox News, Worldnetdaily, and Newsmax.

. . . . . . what are you talking about?:whofart:
two articles, one liberal, one conservative . . 1+1=2
1 conservative +1 liberal=balanced

Chaos
11-07-05, 09:59 PM
Well, when somebody has a policy we don't like, there are two options -- 1) fund the policies we do like and build a relationship so we can put friendly pressure on them to halt the practices we dislike (the carrot), or 2) freeze them out completely and tell them that they won't get our aid back until they halt the disfavored policy (the stick).

The carrot approach was President Reagan's response to apartheid, for example.

True, but the UN doesn't particularly (sp?) see eye to eye with the US on a host of issues . . . no accountability (Oil for food), unexplainable positions (see above, human rights violators on human rights commission), qualified nations being denied positions they should have (Japan being denied Security seat); the UN hasn't got itself together. From Reagan to now, I'd say the carrot approach has failed given the track record, couldn't hurt to try something else (least the stick hasn't come down yet)


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