by Steven Ertelt
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The check may have already been in the mail, but the Obama administration announced Tuesday that it is sending $50 million to the UNFPA. That’s the UN population agency that has been criticized for promoting abortion and working closely with Chinese population control officials.
In China, the enforcement of the coercive one-child rule has resulted in forced abortions, involuntary sterilizations and other human rights abuses.
Research from the United States and British governments, along a first-hand report from the group Population Research International, has shown UNFPA officials working side-by-side their Chinese colleagues and going as far as sharing the same offices.
But that hasn’t stopped the Obama administration from sending the $50 million Congress authorized to the UNFPA.
“The Department of State will contribute $50 million to UNFPA in 2009, as provided in the Omnibus Appropriations Act,” spokesman Robert Wood said in a press statement. “This decision highlights the Administration’s strong commitment to international family planning, women’s health, and global development.”
Wood praised the UNFPA for its family planning work, but made no mention of its pro-abortion activities or its working with Chinese population control authorities.
The Obama administration statement doesn’t provide the reasons for the funding, but some additional details came up during the Senate hearing this week on the nomination of Melanne Verveer, Obama’s pro-abortion nominee for Ambassador at Large for Women’s Global Issues.
When the House approved its omnibus bill, it reworded the language of the Kemp-Kasten amendment, which prohibits funding groups that support forced abortions, to allow the president to determine whether that it happening.
Rep. Chris Smith tried to offer an amendment to revert the language back to the original ban on such funding, but House Democrats blocked him from doing so. Then, pro-life Sen. Roger Wicker offered a similar amendment but the Senate defeated it.
Wicker questioned Verveer about the genesis for the UNFPA funding during the hearing.
Verveer indicated that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did not rely on the UNFPA loophole and instead reinterpreted the Kemp-Kasten law to say it had no impact on the UNFPA funding.
“A determination was made by the secretary of state and predicated on the facts as they were presented about the role of UNFPA that it does not meet the threshold [prohibiting funding to groups that back forced abortions],” Verveer said.
“It does not fund or support organizations that are supportive of coerced abortions or manage programs dealing with coerced abortions,” Verveer added.
Verveer claimed the UNFPA has few programs in China and “they have done significant work in trying to get the Chinese to reduce abortions and eliminate this practice.”
However, the Bush administration found such a link between the UNFPA and forced abortions.
It determined that UNFPA provides financial support to Marie Stopes International, a British abortion business which turned around and send the U.S. taxpayer funds to support to the Chinese population control agency that enforces the coercive birth limitation policy.
Regardless of how it was approved, abortion advocates are already saying $50 million is not enough money.
Led by pro-abortion Rep. Louise Slaughter, they are asking for even more money in the next budget Congress will consider.
In a letter to the chairman and ranking members of the Foreign Operations Subcommittee, Slaughter and three other members of the House ask for an increase of $530 million for family planning efforts and a boost to $65 million for the UNFPA.
“We respectfully request that you increase international family planning assistance funding by $530 million from last year’s level, including a total of $65 million for the United Nations Population Fund in the Fiscal Year 2010 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Act,” the letter says.